Former Tigers second baseman Lou Whitaker inexcusably fell off the Hall of Fame ballot a decade ago, but two of his former teammates are up for induction this year: Jack Morris and double play partner Allen Trammell. During a radio interview on Friday, Whitaker gave a fascinating answer when asked about Morris' Hall of Fame case. Here's the quote, courtesy of Tony Paul of the Detroit News:
“Jack Morris was no better than Alan Trammell-Lou Whitaker ... If we didn't make the plays, and we didn't come up with the big hits, Jack Morris wouldn't be where he was, or where he is.”
Whitaker did go on to say Morris "was a stud in his own way" and "probably deserves to be in the Hall of Fame," but it's clear he's not 100 percent sold on the idea of his former teammate landing in Cooperstown. Whitaker later went on to say if "Jack deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, Alan Trammell deserves to be in the Hall of Fame."
As previously outlined in these very internet pages, Morris' case for the Hall of Fame is quite strong but, objectively speaking, probably not good enough for induction. He has lots of support though, and that support can go a long way. Both Whitaker (74.8 WAR) and Trammell (70.3 WAR) have better cases than Morris (43.8 WAR), at least according to one metric. Neither has received the same kind of support.
Trammell is on the ballot for the 14th time this year but has topped out at 36.8 percent of the vote. Morris is on the ballot for the 15th and final time. He appeared on 67.7 percent of the ballots last year. A player needs to receive 75 percent of the vote for induction.
Whitaker received only 2.9 percent of the vote in 2001, his only year on the ballot. Criminal.