View Poll Results: Trammell vs Larkin..who was better

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  • Trammell

    8 23.53%
  • Larkin

    26 76.47%
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Thread: Barry Larkin Vs Alan Trammell

  1. #26
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    For those who don't support Larkin and/or Trammell, I'd like to see your shortstop rankings. I'm just curious whether it's the result of a small(ish) personal Hall, or low rankings for either or both players.

  2. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
    The Hall of Fame consists of just over 1% of the 17,000 players who have played in MLB. I think that's about as it should be. I
    don't think Trammel is in the top 1% of shortstops. Larkin is borderline for me, I won't be upset if he gets in, but I won't mind if he doesn't.

    I think Wagner, Vaughn, Appling, Banks, Ripken, and Jeter are definitely worthy. Maranville, Reese, Rizzuto, and Ozzie Smith not so much.
    In addition to leecemark's response (post 25), let me point out what I believe is an error in your thinking. True, there have been more than 17,000 players who have appeared in a Major Lague game. About 7,000 are pitchers, leaving around 10,000- perhaps a few more- are position players. But, of those 10,000 +, many many appeared in only a few games in 1 season. Many many others played only 1 or 2 or 3 seasons, almost always as bench players. Perhaps only 4,000 or at most 5,000 had what can really be called Major League careers- say, playing 6 or more seasons, 2500 or more plate appearances, something like that. Of those 4,000 or so career ML position players, approximately 1 in 8 was primarily a shortstop. So, we're really looking at a pool of perhaps 500 shortstops to compare. The Hall of Fame currently has about 230 players enshrined. I think about 170 are position players, 60 or so are pitchers. I haven't looked it up lately, but I think there are nearly/around 20 shortstops in the HOF. That distribution seems to be close to right, based on the number of members. We can argue, perhaps legitimately, that guys like Wallace and Tinker and several others don't belong- but it seems reasonable that there are several others who merit taking their place. It's clear that both Larkin and Trammell fit easily in that group. If being one of the 20 best shortstops of all time merits serious consideration as a HOFer- and it does- we're really talking about being one of the 20 or so best of about 500 guys who really played shortstop for a reasonable amount of time. That means being one of the top 4% or so of such players. I don't think there's any doubt at all that both Larkin and Trammell fit that description. if you disagree, I'd be very interested in seeing who you believe should be placed above them- whether or not you think they should be in the HOF.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by AstrosFan View Post
    For those who don't support Larkin and/or Trammell, I'd like to see your shortstop rankings. I'm just curious whether it's the result of a small(ish) personal Hall, or low rankings for either or both players.
    Smallish personal Hall in my case, as I already stated.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigRon View Post
    I don't think there's any doubt at all that both Larkin and Trammell fit that description. if you disagree, I'd be very interested in seeing who you believe should be placed above them- whether or not you think they should be in the HOF.
    I already stated that as well.

    Skimming through this thread, there's a lot of support for Trammel, but in the actual poll, only 2 of 25 people think he was better than Larkin, and Larkin is borderline himself, in my opinion.

    I don't rank players, I pretty much go with my gut feeling, and my memory of seeing them play, if I did see them. Not very scientific, but there you are. I believe the Hall has lowered its standards somewhat in recent years. It's supposed to be hard to get into the Hall Of Fame. Somebody didn't vote for Ted Williams and Hank Aaron and Willie Mays, for God's sake. Somebody didn't vote for every player that's ever been inducted. Larkin and Trammel were fine players, but they aren't in the same class as Wagner, Arky Vaughn, or even Cal Ripken.
    "Tactics were resorted to, unworthy of fair, manly players" - Brooklyn Eagle, June 12,1890

  4. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
    Larkin and Trammel were fine players, but they aren't in the same class as Wagner, Arky Vaughn, or even Cal Ripken.
    Why should that be the standard? The 3 mentioned players are usually considered among the top 50 or so position players of all time. Using that standard, nearly 3/4ths of the players in the HOF should be kicked out. Expanding it to you earlier list would roughly cut the HOF in half. You may want that, but that's not what has taken place. And, I'm not at all sure that the HOF has accelerated its inductions in recent decades, except for some Negro Leaguers.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRon View Post
    Why should that be the standard? The 3 mentioned players are usually considered among the top 50 or so position players of all time. Using that standard, nearly 3/4ths of the players in the HOF should be kicked out. Expanding it to you earlier list would roughly cut the HOF in half. You may want that, but that's not what has taken place. And, I'm not at all sure that the HOF has accelerated its inductions in recent decades, except for some Negro Leaguers.
    Cal Ripken is considered to be one of the top 50 position players of all time? Really? Then he's even more overrated than I thought he was.

    I didn't say the Hall has accelerated its inductions, I said they've lowered their standards. I didn't see Ozzie Smith as a Hall-of-Famer either, speaking of shortstops. Same with Bill Mazeroski, and Jim Rice was kind of iffy, too.
    Last edited by ol' aches and pains; 01-06-2012 at 03:39 PM.
    "Tactics were resorted to, unworthy of fair, manly players" - Brooklyn Eagle, June 12,1890

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by leecemark View Post
    --I see Larkin and Trammel as both beinging in the 15 SS of all time. Even if you only averaged one SS per decade in the Hall that would put both of them right on the edge of a relatively small Hall. It also means they are better than not just the worst SS selections, but a significant number of SS already in Cooperstown. There is not a reasonable argument for Trammel and Larkin NOT being in a Hall that includes Wallace, Tinker, Bancroft, Maranville, Jackson, Rizzuto and Aparicio - and very arguably several more.
    --On the other hand there is no such list of players not in the Hall as good or better than Larkin and Trammell. The only non-Hall of Fame SS arguably in their class is Bill Dahlen, who did his best work in the 19th century. The arguement that Larkin and Trammell don't belong is really an arguement that the Hall should be MUCH smaller than its actual size. It puts the bar for modern players substanially higher than it has historically been. Personally I think that sort of imbalance between long ago players and more recent ones is an injustice to both the Hall and the players.
    I'm getting a man-crush on Leecemark, because he's got this so right.

    Whether one prefers Larkin or Trammell, the difference is so slight that the real message to take from the question is that it's preposterous that Larkin's about to make the Hall on his 2nd or 3rd ballot while Trammell languishes in the teens.

    We're about to reach another Hunter-Tiant, Herman-Myer, Rizzuto-Stephens, Doerr-Gordon sort of dilemma. Of these, only Doerr-Gordon was resolved, and that took a generation.
    Last edited by Cougar; 01-06-2012 at 03:47 PM. Reason: Added quote

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar View Post
    I'm getting a man-crush on Leecemark, because he's got this so right.

    Whether one prefers Larkin or Trammell, the difference is so slight that the real message to take from the question is that it's preposterous that Larkin's about to make the Hall on his 2nd or 3rd ballot while Trammell languishes in the teens.

    We're about to reach another Hunter-Tiant, Herman-Myer, Rizzuto-Stephens, Doerr-Gordon sort of dilemma. Of these, only Doerr-Gordon was resolved, and that took a generation.
    I see no particular reason why we should feel the NEED to elect a certain number of players from a particular position, or from a certain time period. If there were no truly great players, then there were no truly great players. For the first 100 or so years of MLB baseball, there was arguably only one hall of fame third baseman...Home Run Baker. Then, we had a bunch of them all play during the same time period. The same may apply to shortstops. There weren't many truly great ones for a time, until Jeter and A-rod came along. What about Nomar? How are Trammell and Larkin any more qualified than him?

    I'm not saying that Trammell and Larkin definitely are not deserving. I just feel, in making their case, you should try to show how they were truly great, rather than compare them with the past standards of HOF selections.
    Last edited by willshad; 01-06-2012 at 04:55 PM.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjpm74 View Post
    Larkin gets the edge, but both Alan Trammell and his 15 season neighbor over at second base, Lou Whitaker belong in the HOF.
    If you took the ten best seasons from both players and added them together into a 20 year career, you might get ONE HOFer.

    What they needed was some consistency at first base and a poem written about them.
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  9. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
    Cal Ripken is considered to be one of the top 50 position players of all time? Really? Then he's even more overrated than I thought he was.
    FYI:

    Bill James rated Ripken number 48 alltime among ALL players- number 37 among position players.
    Bill Burgess' Greatest Players BBF poll ranks Ripken number 36 among position players.
    DoubleX' Rating the HOF Players BBF poll ranks Ripken number 35 among ALL players, number 27 among position players.
    Baseball-Reference' Fan EloRater ranks Ripken number 23 among position players.

    Say what you will about the various polls, but they all rate Ripken among the top 40 position players in baseball history.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
    The HOF voters probably don't. But although this is the HOF forum, the title at the top of the page above the poll is "Trammel vs Larkin.. Who Was Better", not who should be in the HOF. I personally wouldn't put either of them in, but if I had to choose one, it would be Larkin, and I do look at the Clemente Award.
    Now I'm even more confused. While I don't care at all about the Clemente Award, I could see why you feel it holds weight in a Hall of Fame discussion. However, it appears that you are saying that the Clemente Award contributes to the argument that Larkin was a better player than Trammell. Is this correct?

  11. #36
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    Speaking of the Clemente Award, it's amazing how many scuzzy individuals have won an award based on sportsmanship and being an all-around good person. There's Pete Rose, Steve Garvey, Harold Reynolds, Kirby Puckett, and Curt Schilling (pretty prickly, though not a known philanderer or criminal like the others). The award winners make it look like its even more of a popularity contest than some of the other awards. Almost every winner has been a player that has been a media favorite.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Groat's syndrome View Post
    Speaking of the Clemente Award, it's amazing how many scuzzy individuals have won an award based on sportsmanship and being an all-around good person. There's Pete Rose, Steve Garvey, Harold Reynolds, Kirby Puckett, and Curt Schilling (pretty prickly, though not a known philanderer or criminal like the others). The award winners make it look like its even more of a popularity contest than some of the other awards. Almost every winner has been a player that has been a media favorite.
    I think your right, it's almost like at any regular job the suckups get the rewards over the harder workers. I always thought a guy like Albert Belle who was considered one of the biggest jerks of all time sometimes got a raw deal. Most teammates didnt have a problem with him except the media friendly teammates. No doubt he wasnt the best guy to be around but least he wasnt a phony and i always respected him for that;

    Samy Sosa who was loved by the media in the 90's was the biggest phony I've ever seen. I doubt he had more than 3 friends in the Cubs clubhouse while he was playing. Albert Belle was probaly disliked too some degree but he was respected.

    Using Belle and Sosa as examples deff is somewhat goofy but my point is fans hated Belle and loved Sosa only because he was media friendly at the time. Again not right to use belle and Sosa as a comparison but they both were in Chicago in the 90's and Sosa was a god compared to Belle and I have no doubt Belle cared more for wiining than Sosa ever did.
    Last edited by chicagowhitesox1173; 01-08-2012 at 01:53 AM.
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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Groat's syndrome View Post
    Now I'm even more confused. While I don't care at all about the Clemente Award, I could see why you feel it holds weight in a Hall of Fame discussion. However, it appears that you are saying that the Clemente Award contributes to the argument that Larkin was a better player than Trammell. Is this correct?
    Actually, the poll is kind of open to interptretation. It asks Trammel vs Larkin...who was better? I was thinking of the Clemente award in terms of of HOF worthiness (goes to the character clause). Obviously, winning the Clemente award doesn't make you a better player. And if Pete Rose, Steve Garvey, Harold Reynolds, Kirby Puckett, and Curt Schilling have all won the Clemente, which I wasn't aware of, then it's no guarantee of good character, either.
    "Tactics were resorted to, unworthy of fair, manly players" - Brooklyn Eagle, June 12,1890

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRon View Post
    FYI:

    Bill James rated Ripken number 48 alltime among ALL players- number 37 among position players.
    Bill Burgess' Greatest Players BBF poll ranks Ripken number 36 among position players.
    DoubleX' Rating the HOF Players BBF poll ranks Ripken number 35 among ALL players, number 27 among position players.
    Baseball-Reference' Fan EloRater ranks Ripken number 23 among position players.

    Say what you will about the various polls, but they all rate Ripken among the top 40 position players in baseball history.
    OK, if Bill James says so, who am I to argue?
    "Tactics were resorted to, unworthy of fair, manly players" - Brooklyn Eagle, June 12,1890

  15. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
    OK, if Bill James says so, who am I to argue?
    You can argue with anyone. I gave you results from four polls, of which James' was only one. you can choose to argue with, or ignore, any or all. That's your right. I'm merely pointing out that various groups have all ranked Ripken very highly. If you can find such polls which vary greatly from these evaluations (besides your own), I'd be interested in seeing them. My point is that there appears to be a pretty strong consensus that Ripken is considered to be a top 30 or 40 alltime position player. If you can provide information to the contrary, please do so.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRon View Post
    You can argue with anyone. I gave you results from four polls, of which James' was only one. you can choose to argue with, or ignore, any or all. That's your right. I'm merely pointing out that various groups have all ranked Ripken very highly. If you can find such polls which vary greatly from these evaluations (besides your own), I'd be interested in seeing them. My point is that there appears to be a pretty strong consensus that Ripken is considered to be a top 30 or 40 alltime position player. If you can provide information to the contrary, please do so.
    Honestly Ron, I wasn't aware that was the consensus. I'm not really convinced, but I'm not sufficiently interested in Ripken to
    try to disprove it. It seems to me there must be 50 players among the 17,000 who have appeared in an MLB game who were better than Ripken, but I don't have the time or the inclination to research and rank them, so I'll concede the point.
    "Tactics were resorted to, unworthy of fair, manly players" - Brooklyn Eagle, June 12,1890

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
    Honestly Ron, I wasn't aware that was the consensus. I'm not really convinced, but I'm not sufficiently interested in Ripken to
    try to disprove it. It seems to me there must be 50 players among the 17,000 who have appeared in an MLB game who were better than Ripken, but I don't have the time or the inclination to research and rank them, so I'll concede the point.
    It depends how you define 'better'. Usually when doing rankings, people look at how much value the player accumulated during his career, and sometimes how good he was at his peak...not the player's average, typical performance level.

    Ripken played a LONG time, and obviously never got hurt, so he managed to accumulate stats which make him look like an all time great. he also has a few great seasons spread around his career, so his peak level is high. His 'typical' performance level was not so high, however, and this is probably how you remember him. In most seasons, he was just a good fielding shortstop with some pop to his bat. He really wasn't any better than Trammell and Larkin when going by 'typical' performance level.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by AstrosFan View Post
    For those who don't support Larkin and/or Trammell, I'd like to see your shortstop rankings. I'm just curious whether it's the result of a small(ish) personal Hall, or low rankings for either or both players.
    I think aches and pains has an extraordinarily small personal Hall. On the 2012 BBWAA Hall of Fame Poll he voted for nobody, not even Bagwell.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Groat's syndrome View Post
    I think aches and pains has an extraordinarily small personal Hall. On the 2012 BBWAA Hall of Fame Poll he voted for nobody, not even Bagwell.
    The actual HOF consists of just over 1% of all the players who ever played. They're not necessarily the right 1%, but I think the number is about right. It's a very exclusive club. Shortstops are pretty well represented in the HOF, I don't see the need to add Trammel to the Hall. I can live with Larkin, but I don't really support his election.

    As for Bagwell, his numbers are worthy of induction, but I just have this nagging suspicion that he's a juicer. I guess I should practice what I preach and give him the benefit of the doubt, but for some reason, I hold back on supporting him.
    Last edited by ol' aches and pains; 01-08-2012 at 10:21 AM.
    "Tactics were resorted to, unworthy of fair, manly players" - Brooklyn Eagle, June 12,1890

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
    The actual HOF consists of just over 1% of all the players who ever played. They're not necessarily the right 1%, but I think the number is about right. It's a very exclusive club. Shortstops are pretty well represented in the HOF, I don't see the need to add Trammel to the Hall. I can live with Larkin, but I don't really support his election.

    As for Bagwell, his numbers are worthy of induction, but I just have this nagging suspicion that he's a juicer. I guess I should practice what I preach and give him the benefit of the doubt, but for some reason, I hold back on supporting him.
    Aches, I'm curious. did you read my post #27? Larkin and Trammell are really being compared to at most 500 other shortstops, who had what can be called real careers. The 1% thing is a misperception.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRon View Post
    Aches, I'm curious. did you read my post #27? Larkin and Trammell are really being compared to at most 500 other shortstops, who had what can be called real careers. The 1% thing is a misperception.
    In one sense, that's true. In the sense he used it, he's right. And, if you want to look at it another way, it's less than 1%, as lots of guys who played professionally didn't make it to the majors. You're arguing over how to define something. IMHO, the better way of looking at it is that if the candidate is in the top 20 at his position, that's a good argument for his induction. If he's in the top 15, he almost certainly belongs, and if he's not in the top 25, he almost certainly doesn't belong.
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  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by jalbright View Post
    In one sense, that's true. In the sense he used it, he's right. And, if you want to look at it another way, it's less than 1%, as lots of guys who played professionally didn't make it to the majors. You're arguing over how to define something. IMHO, the better way of looking at it is that if the candidate is in the top 20 at his position, that's a good argument for his induction. If he's in the top 15, he almost certainly belongs, and if he's not in the top 25, he almost certainly doesn't belong.
    So, I guess the question for aches and pains is, does Larkin not make the top 15 or 20 at shortstop for you? And/or do you only induct up to number 5? 10? x?

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by jalbright View Post
    IMHO, the better way of looking at it is that if the candidate is in the top 20 at his position, that's a good argument for his induction. If he's in the top 15, he almost certainly belongs, and if he's not in the top 25, he almost certainly doesn't belong.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Groat's syndrome View Post
    So, I guess the question for aches and pains is, does Larkin not make the top 15 or 20 at shortstop for you? And/or do you only induct up to number 5? 10? x?
    You have to take it on a case-by-case basis. Larkin may be in the top 20, but there are already 23 shortstops in the HOF, and they're not kicking out Rabbit Maranville to make room for Larkin. There may not be 20 shortstops deserving of the Hall of Fame. There are only 16 catchers, and 15 third basemen. Still, if Larkin gets in, it won't be a travesty, but nobody's going to convince me that Trammel (or his teammate Jack Morris) is a Hall-of-Famer.
    "Tactics were resorted to, unworthy of fair, manly players" - Brooklyn Eagle, June 12,1890

  24. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Second Base Coach View Post
    If you took the ten best seasons from both players and added them together into a 20 year career, you might get ONE HOFer.

    What they needed was some consistency at first base and a poem written about them.
    If you really believe that, name 20 SS and 20 2B who are more deserving i.e. better. You should have no problem doing so.

  25. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
    You have to take it on a case-by-case basis. Larkin may be in the top 20, but there are already 23 shortstops in the HOF, and they're not kicking out Rabbit Maranville to make room for Larkin. There may not be 20 shortstops deserving of the Hall of Fame. There are only 16 catchers, and 15 third basemen. Still, if Larkin gets in, it won't be a travesty, but nobody's going to convince me that Trammel (or his teammate Jack Morris) is a Hall-of-Famer.
    See, I don't think mistakes of the past should hold back deserving players today. Of course Rabbit Maranville was a mistake, and so were a dozen or so other guys. That doesn't mean there isn't room for Larkin. On the flip side, I don't believe those mistakes should be used to lower the bar for the HOF. Can't we just ignore those obvious mistakes like Maranville and move on? The voters have not always been particularly savvy when judging talent from the past, and at times the voters (and I'm speaking specifically about the VC here) were downright corrupt.

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