Wednesday, February 20, 2019

"Sweet Lou" Whitaker 2/20/19

Hey baseball fans!

Tomorrow is my 20th birthday! Usually, in the history of Baseball with Matt, my birthday post is about Alan Trammell, Hall of Fame shortstop and 1984 World Series MVP for the Detroit Tigers, as well as my birthday buddy. But this time, I'm going to shed some light on Trammell's longtime teammate and double play partner, Lou Whitaker!

Second baseman Lou Whitaker played his entire career with the Tigers from 1977-1995. The 1978 AL Rookie of the Year Award recipient totaled five consecutive All Star Games from 1983-1987, three Gold Gloves at 2B, and four Silver Slugger Awards. He batted .285 or above in eight seasons and is 78th on the all-time WAR list with a 75.1 career WAR. Trammell and Whitaker hold the record for the longest-lasting double play combination in MLB history; the two both started playing on a full-time basis in 1978 and ended their partnership due to Whitaker's retirement following the 1995 season.

Because Whitaker played his entire career in the Motor City, he is in the top five for a number of Tigers records, including career double plays (1st with 1,527), career walks (2nd with 1,197), and career runs scored (4th with 1,386). His uniform number (he wore #1) has not been retired by the Tigers yet, but there's no doubt that he's a franchise favorite, especially considering he was part of the last Tigers championship team in 1984. However, his Hall of Fame candidacy is much less debated. In his first year of eligibility in 2001, he was kicked off the BBWAA ballot by not receiving the required five percent to stay on it for the next year. Fellow teammates Trammell and Jack Morris did get in via the Veterans Committee, but Whitaker will have to wait until at least 2021 to even be considered by the applicable committee within the Veterans Committee.

No matter what happens with Whitaker and the Hall of Fame, I will still say that he was a great player and should be forever remembered in Tigers lore. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

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