By Dave McVety | [email protected]

A look at the history of Detroit Tigers shortstops makes one thing perfectly clear: Alan Trammell is the best ever, and few are close.

Trammell was the Tigers starter for 14 years, and he’ll be the first Detroit shortstop inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame this summer.

Only Billy Rogell and Donie Bush started more than five seasons at short for the Tigers, and only Carlos Guillen, Harvey Kuenn, Topper Rigney and Jhonny Peralta had hitting statistics approaching Trammell’s.

In fact, the Tigers have had just 20 shortstops holding the starting job for at least two seasons in the 117 years of the franchise. Aging is especially tough on the position – shortstops tend to be replaced as they slow down, with the good hitters often moved to other positions.

Not Trammell, at least not until after his 14-year run as starter from 1978-1991. Then he still  hit well enough to stick around until 1996.

Ranking those 20 shortstops is a journey through Detroit Tigers history. The rankings are based on Hall of Fame votes, Most Valuable Player votes, All-Star berths, statistics relative to the player’s era, longevity and importance to Tigers history.

All of that makes Trammell the easy No. 1 choice. The challenge is ranking them after that – we can’t wait to discuss these rankings in the comments.

You’ll see some familiar names for sure, and we’ll dust off other players from deep on the history shelf. There are also lots pictures, video and other tidbits that make Detroit Tigers history so fun.