Tigers and Lions shorted by hall of fame
With the various sports hall of fames getting ready to announce their latest picks, it’s almost certain that Detroit athletes will get shorted once again.
How can I make this statement? Easy.
Consider the following: All-time baseball greats like Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker and Jack Morris haven’t yet been inducted.
And when you look at pro football, the name of Alex Karras has been conspicuously left left off the list.
The case against the double play combination of Trammell and Whitaker is hard to fathom.
Besides combining for 20 peerless years together (the longest streak ever) in the Tigers infield, the two also did their share of damage at the plate.
Trammell averaged .285 in his career while piling up 2,365 hits, 185 homers and over 1,300 runs batted in.
Whitaker wasn’t far behind with a .275 average, 2,869 hits and 244 homers. He also batted in 1,084 runs.
An equally strong case can be made for Morris, who was the winningest pitcher of the 1980s.
A clutch pitcher who saved his best for the really “big” games (Game 7 of the 1986 World Series versus the Minnesota Twins stands out), Morris won 254 games in his career.
The thing I really liked about the sometimes mercurial Morris was his tenacity on the mound. He was all business when he was out there.
Players with stats not as impressive as the Tigers trio have made the hall. And statistics, as much as anything else, are the key to making it to Cooperstown.
In the case of Karras, his suspension for gambling during the 1964 NFL season was always held against him.
Yet, Paul Hornung of the Packers made it to the Hall of Fame, albeit a few years later.
The two were suspended for one full season for their off-the-field activities.
Karras was a character on and off the field as witnessed by his career in the movies and television.
The one quote about the man who was the heart and soul of the Lions “Fearsome Foursome” was the one he made after being asked what was his plan of attack against opposing teams.
“I tackle everyone until I find the one who has the football,” the nearsighted Karras said.
Now that’s an hall of famer if there ever was one.