Jack Morris teammate Lou Whitaker questions his Hall credentials
As Jack Morris prepares for his 15th and final appearance on the National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, his own Detroit Tigers teammate isn’t sure he is any more worthy than himself, or fellow tiger Alan Trammell (who is on the ballot for the 13th time). The Detroit News writer Tony Paul reports that Whitaker loves his former teammate, but doesn’t see the distinction between Morris and himself (out after one year) and Alan Trammell (nowhere near induction):
“Jack Morris was no better than Alan Trammell-Lou Whitaker,” Whitaker said during the interview, audio of which was posted on DetroitSportsRag.com and confirmed by MLB Network Radio co-host Jim Bowden. “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.”
His comments seemed to be more directed at his own snub (along with Trammell’s) as he clarified:
“I don’t know what to say about Jack,” Whitaker said during the MLB Network Radio interview. “Jack was good, Jack was a stud in his own way. Jack Morris probably deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.”
So in the end, it’s probably just a veteran looking for more respect than he got. Or not really fully understanding what credentials are to make the Hall of Fame (in my opinion, none of the three are worthy).
Morris received 67.7% of the vote last year, and would need 75% to be elected. I’m guessing it’s a 50/50 shot, there might be some sympathy from non-voters in the past because it’s his last chance. Morris counts 254 wins to his credit (plus some key World Series performances), but a 3.90 ERA and no Cy Young Awards. Trammell was a .285 career lifetime hitter (not too far off Craig Biggio), but with fewer than 200 home runs and fewer than 2400 career hits. Whitaker had 244 HR (really good for a middle infielder of his era), but only a .276 average. Both were great defensively. The Tigers relative small market and few postseason appearances probably contribute to their lack of national recognition.
– David Whitlock