Maybe time is becoming more merciful for Alan Trammell's legacy. Whether it comes soon enough to help his chances at the Hall of Fame is another question.
Seven years into his candidacy for the Hall, Trammell seemed mired down the list of candidates. After back-to-back years of increasing vote totals, he was selected on just 13.4 percent of ballots in 2007, his lowest mark ever. In short, Trammell appeared set in history as half of one of the greatest double-play tandems to play the game and one of the most recognizable faces for one of the greatest single-season teams in recent history, rather than one of the greatest shortstops of his generation.
"Maybe people are looking at us as not exactly superstars, but a team," Trammell said a few years ago. "That's the way we were taught and that's the way we played every day."
Then came last year and an impressive jump. With 18.2 percent of voters selecting him, he had the highest total of his career.
He'll need a lot more votes before Cooperstown becomes a legitimate consideration. But there's at least hope that the change in momentum marks a larger change in consideration for where Trammell ranks among the game's great shortstops.
His spot in Detroit Tigers history is unquestioned.