Alan Trammell and Jack Morris were inducted via the Modern Era committee, a subset of the Veteran’s Committee. They evaluate players who are no longer on the regular BBWAA ballot but who deserve another chance at the HOF.
Lou Whitaker deserves that chance.
We already explored Whitaker’s Hall of Fame case back when Trammell and Morris went in.
Just to recap, for fun:
The left-handed hitting Whitaker compiled 2,369 hits, smacked 244 home runs, stole 143 bases, hit .276, and walked more times than he struck out.
He made five All-Star games, won three Gold Glove awards, four Silver Slugger awards, was the 1978 Rookie of the Year and compiled a ridiculously high 74.9 WAR.
What do those six players have in common? A pretty plaque in Cooperstown with their name on it.
More importantly than the six names in front of Whitaker are the 15(!) Hall of Fame second baseman behind him.
Pick any metric and Whitaker measures up to his HOF counterparts. His JAWS score of 56.4 is 13th among second baseman. That ranks in front of Hall of Famers Roberto Alomar, Jackie Robinson, Joe Gordon, Bobby Doerr and Nellie Fox, among others.
The issue here is not whether Whitaker deserves the Hall of Fame, which is an easy answer. The issue is if the Modern Era Committee, who meet again in 2019, will give him another chance.
The Modern Era Committee will select 10 players to discuss, all whom played from 1970-1987. While there are quite a few candidates from that era who deserve another chance (including fellow second baseman Bobby Grich) Whitaker seems like a good bet to get on that ballot.
With 16 voters and a four person limit, Whitaker will need 12 of the voters to select him, a pretty tall order.
However, there is momentum for Whitaker right now with Trammell and Morris getting their due. It is time for Tiger fans to help push the movement to get Lou into the Hall.
Next is an active Tiger, but one who has a chance at Cooperstown when his career is over.