MacLennan: Can’t catch a break: Hall of Fame catchers

From Ashley MacLennan at The Hardball Times on August 8, 2018:

As I watched the 2018 Hall of Fame induction ceremony recently, as former Detroit Tigers Jack Morris and Alan Trammell graciously took their places among the pantheon of baseball’s all-time best in Cooperstown, I had a sense of something (or someone) missing: Lou Whitaker, Trammell’s double-play partner. It feels wrong to see Trammell make the Hall, and have his number retired, while Sweet Lou has still been left out. But it’s not a 1984 “Bless You Boys” era Tiger whose exclusion has rankled me for so long.

Whitaker will have his chance again this offseason at the 2018 Winter Meetings, when the Modern Era Committee meets again, and if all the think-pieces about him being overlooked are an indicator, this could be his year at last.

Bill Freehan, on the other hand, is a name rarely mentioned in these discussions, and one could argue he has just as much claim to a place in Cooperstown as Trammell, Morris or Whitaker. The catcher was an integral part of the Tigers 1968 World Series team, and has more than enough of the on-paper credibility to warrant him a vote. So why has he been left out in the cold for so long?

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Originally published: August 10, 2018. Last Updated: August 10, 2018.