DETROIT (WWJ) — It was a special tribute night at Comerica Park to the team that last brought the World Series to Detroit — and lifted a community — back in 1984.
Former shortstop Alan Trammell said that it doesn’t really seem like 30 years ago, but it’s a night he will never forget. Trammell explained why he doesn’t wear his Championship ring much anymore.
“I wore it for a few years and I caught myself nicking it, banging it on things and I didn’t want to beat it up,” Trammell said. “So it’s put away in a safe spot.”
Trammell said that 1984 was a dream year and that he was sorry that the team couldn’t win the World Series again.
“We wanted to win it at home, which we did,” Trammell said. “But just hoisting the trophy — there’s a lot of great memories through that season, but just knowing that ultimately winning that championship, which is what we set out to do, the one time that we did it. Again, we did it.
“It doesn’t seem like that long ago, but it was,” Trammell said. “It’s very special for me to see the guys and my point is that we’re all day-to-day and that’s just the facts of life.”
Former players, like pitchers Dave Rozema and Dan Petry, said that the camaraderie of players who went through the minor leagues together helped make the team so special.
“I hope that nobody does forget it, and I don’t think they will in this area,” Petry said. “Nobody has forgotten the ’68 team and how special they were.”
Second baseman Lou Whitaker said that the great part about that team was that they simply made timely hits.
“We had great starting pitching, the defense was absolutely fantastic and the guys coming off the bench,” Whitaker said.
None of the members of that team have been elected to the Hall of Fame and Trammell said that in his opinion, pitcher Jack Morris should have made it in.
“I’m not going to go home and dream about and think about and cry about why am I not in the Hall of Fame,” Whitaker said. “I’m not going to do that — I never played the game and looked at it that way.”
Trammell and Whitaker lined up to make the ceremonial first pitch, but instead took their old positions in the middle infield for a “first double-play.”
The players said that they get together from time to time and have kept up through the years.