’84 Tigers Finally Get Their Due [Video]
It's been 34 years since the 1984 Detroit Tigers dominated everyone in baseball with an overwhelmingly decisive World Series victory.
And now, after years of being ignored, some of that team's top players are being honored. It's about time.
Shortstop Alan Trammell and Pitcher Jack Morris were enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame over the weekend, becoming the first players off that team to be so honored. The only question is, why did it take so long?
Trammell and Morris were inducted by the Veteran's Committee after years of failing to get in on the writers ballots. While I'm no baseball genius, it's hard for me to understand why a team that was so dominant was undervalued by the writers.
Let's go back to 1984. Rarely has a team so dominated a season from start to finish. Some teams peak early, some late, but the 84 Tigers were solid all season.
The Tigers got off to an incredible 35-5 start, going wire to wire to win the East Division, over the defending World Champion Baltimore Orioles (who didn't even contend), the always tough new York Yankees, and an emerging Toronto Blue Jays team.
In the American League Playoffs, the swept the Kansas City Royals, who would win the 1985 championship, in three games.
The World Series wasn't even close as the Tigers won the best of seven series, 4 games to 1. Kirk Gibson broke open a close fifth game with a towering three run homer to clinch it.
While as a lifelong Tiger fan, the snub eats at my bitter heart, neither Morris nor Trammelll harbored any ill will in their acceptance speeches Sunday.
Only Trammel hinted at the rejection by implying that his long time double play partner Lou Whitaker should be in the Hall with him.
As a young DJ back in 1984, I interviewed both Trammell and Morris prior to the season at a Tiger radio affiliate event in Gaylord. Trammell, as usual, was soft spoken and outgoing, Morris was, also as usual, surly and short with his answers. But in his speech Sunday, Morris seems to have softened over time, Almost losing it when talking about his Dad.
Mitch Albom's column in Sunday's Detroit Free Press remembers the tightness and togetherness of the 1984 team. They all had a mutual respect for each other that is rarely found today. Why they didn't win more titles has been puzzling to me, but the competition back then was very tough.
In case you missed it, here are Sunday's hall of Fame acceptance speeches by Morris and Trammell.