Departing trio makes end of season also end of Tigers' era

October 01, 1995|By BRAD SNYDER | BRAD SNYDER,SUN STAFF

They have 53 years of service to the Detroit Tigers among them.

Shortstop Alan Trammell and second baseman Lou Whitaker probably are retiring after 18 seasons and an American League-record 1,918 (counting today) games together. Manager Sparky Anderson will be looking for work after nearly 17 seasons in Detroit.

All three have the utmost respect of the Orioles.

The autographed balls above Mike Mussina's locker say everything. One from Whitaker, one from Trammell, both of them for Mussina's personal collection.

"I don't get very many," Mussina said. "Twenty years from now, I'm still going to remember -- if it happens that way -- I got to pitch in their last home game and maybe their last game together."

Today's scheduled starter, Mussina pitched in Tiger Stadium on Sept. 21, which was billed as the trio's final home game. In the late innings, Mussina threw Trammell and Whitaker nothing but fastballs down the middle.

Trammell, who thanked Mussina, does not expect similar treatment today. "I don't expect anything whatsoever," Trammell said. "He'd like to win another ballgame. I understand that."

Mussina, who is going for his 19th win, did not rule out additional late-inning courtesies: "It depends on the circumstances."

Chris Hoiles was the catcher that Thursday afternoon in Detroit, telling Trammell and Whitaker "nothing but fastballs."

The Tigers traded Hoiles, along with pitching prospects Robinson Garces and Cesar Meija, to the Orioles for Fred Lynn in 1988.

Hoiles never got to play for Anderson, who once told Hoiles how much he lamented trading him.

"Obviously his record speaks for itself," Hoiles said. "The only way to stay in the big leagues is to win."

At 61, Anderson is three years older than first-year skipper Phil Regan, yet has 25 more years of big-league managing experience.

Anderson says he's "1,000 percent" sure he'll be managing somewhere next year.

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