Lou Whitaker (1977-1995)
From 1978-1995, Detroit Tigers fans had the luxury of watching Trammell and Lou Whitaker man the middle infield and boy was it a site to see.
Whitaker actually beat out Trammell for the Rookie of the Year award in 1978. The second baseman hit .285 with 22 extra-base hits, 58 RBI and 71 runs that season.
His best offensive year came in 1983 when he hit .320 with 12 home runs, 72 RBI and 94 runs. Whitaker also had 40 doubles and 17 stolen bases that year. From 1983-1987, it was hard to find a better second baseman in the American League. During that time frame, Whitaker made five straight All-Star Games, won four Silver Slugger awards and three Gold Glove awards.
But besides his Rookie of the Year award, Whitaker didn’t win anything else outside of those five seasons. He finished with a .276 average, 2,369 hits, 244 home runs, 1,084 RBI and 1,386 runs, but they were accumulated over a 19-year career.
The good news is Whitaker’s numbers are comparable to Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan, who had 2,517 hits, 268 home runs, 1,133 RBI and 1,650 runs. Whitaker’s Hall of Fame case is certainly stronger with that comparison, but Morgan did steal 689 bases and won two MVP awards.
Whitaker will also have to wait for the veteran’s committee to vote him into the Hall of Fame. He was on the ballot one year in 2001 and received just 2.9 percent of the vote.