March 13, 2015

My Favorite Short Stop of All Time, Alan Trammell


Courtney is in Lakeland, Florida, visiting her Grandparents and the Detroit Baseball Club of the American League. She's having a great time, attending games, and talking to baseball players. Yesterday, she even met Justin Verlander's girlfriend, Kate Upton. My Mom, Sally, is helping out with lots of photographs and daily visits with Mr. Leyland. She took the nice shot of Mr. Trammell which you will see below. 


She doesn't know how cool one of the signatures she scored yesterday is, though. Alan Trammell is a Detroit Tiger. He might become the next Al Kaline as far as Tiger lore. Tram may never get elected to the Hall of Fame. As a fan or follower of the game, you are either YES of NO on Tram getting elected. He's not one of those in–betweeners. Tram played the game right. He hustled. He hit well, ran well, and played great defense. He should have won the American League MVP in 1987, as he had an incredible year. 

From rookie to star

A kid who had arrived in the late–70s looking like he would never hit more than three or four home runs in a season was suddenly cast as a clean–up hitter. And he raked in 1987. George Bell of the Tigers' rival, Blue Jays, won the AL MVP. It was a rip off. But, there is no need to digress. If you were a fan of the Tigers in the '80s, you were an Alan Trammell fan. He was a guest speaker at the University of Michigan Baseball Camp I went to in 1987. It was so cool to hear from a legend. 

Of pizza boxes and baseball cards

Courtney was able to get Mr. Trammell to stop and sign a baseball yesterday. In my baseball collection, each ball or card or pizza box has a story behind it. I just like the ability to meet the players, tell them THANK YOU, and get them to sign something. A couple of years back I switched to Rawlings Official Major League Baseballs — it just seemed to be much cooler. Not to mention, working with baseballs is much easier than leafing through baseball cards, trying to find the right one for the player to sign. My first two signatures, gifts from my Grandpa Morgan, were on official baseballs: Mark Fidrych (in '77) and Kirk Gibson (in '80). I had asked for Pat Underwood's autograph and Grandpa has the kid from Waterford sign the back of the ball — it's quite a highlight and a great story! 


You can check out the success and fun of Court's trip by visiting her Twitter, @courtheitmeyer. Ben Verlander used her photo in his own Tweet yesterday, which is what happens when you take a great photo at a Spring Training baseball game. 

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