Alan Trammell & Lou Whitaker 1996 Fleer Golden Memories card

Where’s Whitaker? Eight Theories on a Hall of Fame Snub

If Alan Trammell gets a Hall of Fame plaque, why is his double play partner Lou Whitaker—who had an essentially identical career—shut out not only from induction but from voting consideration altogether? There is no rational reason to induct Ryne Sandberg in 2005, Roberto Alomar in 2011, and Craig Biggio in 2015, while keeping Whitaker—whose numbers keep pace or surpass them—not only out of the Hall but off the ballot. So what’s going on? I’ve seen at least eight different explanations.

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Bill Freehan 1968 Topps Sporting News All Star card

Bill Freehan: The Tiger Who Was a Horse

Bill Freehan was considered the premier catcher in baseball until Johnny Bench came along and claimed that title. He began a run of 10 consecutive All-Star Game selections in 1964 — just three years removed from his time as a University of Michigan two-sport standout — and finished third in American League MVP voting in 1967 and second in 1968, when his Detroit Tigers won the World Series.

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Benton Harbor’s Bearded Cultists Were Old Baseball’s Answer to the Harlem Globetrotters

The House of David had many of the characteristics of a typical cult: a charismatic leader, apocalyptic beliefs, communal living, and strict prohibitions on sex, alcohol, and cutting one’s hair.

But they also allowed women members to vote and hold office, ran an amusement park, sent traveling bands on the vaudeville circuit — and formed a sensational baseball team.

With their long hair and beards, the House of David players drew massive crowds as they barnstormed around the country. 

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