Hall Of Fame Debate: Barry Larkin VS Alan Trammell
Some of my favorite baseball conversations focus around the ‘Pick The Best…’ kinds of conversations.
You know the conversations I am talking about – Pick the best Yankees of all-time by position, choose the best team of the 1980s, build a roster using players from just one decade…
In a recent conversation about the best players from the 1980′s, the position of shortstop was one of the easiest decisions to make - you have Ozzie Smith and Cal Ripken leading the way. Those two guys were consensus selections. But after that, there is a significant drop-off as it relates to popularity and achievemengts earned among shortstops from that same time period.
Of the rest, we came to a consensus that Alan Trammell and Barry Larkin were the second best shortstops from their respective leagues during the 80′s. Sure, Larkin played just a few years in the decade, while Trammell played all ten seasons, but time spent in the 1980′s was not part of the selection criteria.
Well, that got me to thinking – What is the difference between Alan Trammell and Barry Larkin? Why is one in the Hall of Fame, and not the other? What makes Barry Larkin stand out with the BWAA voters that works against Alan Trammell?
My friends, it is time to dig deeper… Much deeper.
Both players are exactly the same height – 6 feet tall. Larkin was twenty pounds heavier than Trammell during his playing days, which should have resulted in more power, but he only has 13 more homers than Trammell. They both played for historic franchises and each helped lead their team to a memorable World Series title.
When you review their individual numbers on BaseballReference.com, Trammell ranks as the 62nd best offensive player of all-time, with Larkin landing in the 75th spot.
With what has been stated above, no one guy really outdistances the other in any aspect.
So, let’s look into their numbers now:
Ok, there are two things that really stand out to me: stolen bases and All-Star game selections. We all know that 140 more steals by Larkin is not what earned him entry into the Hall of Fame, though it is impressive for a guy that was never tagged as a ‘burner’. And it is hardly Trammell’s fault that he played at the same time as Mr. All-Star, Cal Ripken.
So, what is it? Am I missing something? Anything? Why so much love for Barry Larkin and yet such little respect for a player that is almost identical in Alan Trammell?
Let me say that I like Barry Larkin; hell, I cheered for him during a majority of his career. I do believe that he is worthy of his Hall of Fame enshrinement, but I just think that he should be resting at Cooperstown with Alan Trammell at his side.
What do you think? Does one player belong and not the other? Did the baseball writers get it right by electing Larking or wrong by omitting Trammell? Should they both be in, or should they both be out??
Let me hear your opinion!!
As for me, I am giving both of them the ‘nod’. Even if it is just in my Hall of Fame world…