Congratulations to former Detroit Tigers Ivan Rodriguez for his enshrinement in the BBWAA Hall of Fame.
The first-ballot election makes Pudge the first Detroit Tigers player to enter the Hall since Al Kaline was voted in in 1980.
Rodriguez certainly deserved this spot and his election in the Hall is worth celebrating. But, his election also reminds fans that not one 1984 World Series champion player was enshrined in Cooperstown.
Alan Trammell‘s final appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot was in 2016. After 15 years of voting, the BBWAA just didn’t find him appealing enough. The same happened to Lou Whitaker and Jack Morris. Their final hope lies with the Veteran’s Committee, which is now called the “Eras Committee.”
Eras Committee Voting Schedules
Voting on the Eras Committee does not guarantee a spot for players like Trammell and Whitaker. CBS Sports condensed the Eras Committee voting schedule:
“Today’s Game Committee: twice every five years, starting in 2016;
Modern Baseball Committee: twice every five years, starting in 2017;
Golden Days Committee: once every five years, starting in 2020;
Early Baseball Committee: once every 10 years, starting in 2030.”
The 2017 HOF Ballot included a few more Tigers from the 2006 team that Pudge helped lead to the AL Pennant. Unfortunately, these players will never show up on another ballot because they did not get 5% of the votes. Magglio Ordonez received three votes and Carlos Guillen did not receive any votes. Edgar Renteria, who played one season in Detroit, earned two votes.
Now that Pudge is an official member of the Hall of Fame, will the Tigers retire his number? Several of the Hall of Fame Tigers have statues in left field where their retired numbers rest, too. Kaline (#6) shares space with Charlie Gehringer (#2), Hank Greenberg (#5), and Hal Newhouser (#16). Willie Horton (#23) is also enshrined at Comerica Park, despite not being in the Hall of Fame.
Since Rodriguez played mostly with the Texas Rangers, his name will probably be added to the right field wall. The odds are good that Pudge’s number will be retired at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Right now, Brad Ausmus wears #7 on his jersey, but it is safe to say he would be ok giving it up for another lucky number – if asked.