Detroit Tigers: 1977-1995
Lou Whitaker has been in the news recently, thanks to the induction of two of his teammates into the Baseball Hall of Fame. While Alan Trammell and Jack Morris were more than deserving of their enshrinement, it left many people wondering: What about Lou?
Lou Whitaker’s Hall of Fame case is extremely impressive. The fact that he only received 2.9% of the vote back in 2001 is a travesty, and one that we can all hope is reversed by the Modern Era committee two years from now.
Looking at Whitaker’s accomplishments, there is no doubt he is one of the five greatest Detroit Tiger hitters of all-time.
Whitaker played his entire career in a Tiger uniform. He had 2,369 hits, 244 home runs, 1,084 RBI, 143 steals and a 117 OPS+. He made five All-Star games, won four Silver Slugger Awards, three Gold Glove Awards and the 1978 AL Rookie of the Year Award.
His career WAR of 74.9 is staggeringly high, ranking 49th all-time among position players.
The only hitters above him who are not in the Hall of Fame are:
- Babe Dahlen
- Pete Rose (ineligible)
- Chipper Jones (Eligible 2018)
- Adrian Beltre (active)
- Albert Pujols (active)
- Alex Rodriguez (Eligible 2021)
- Barry Bonds (steroid allegations have kept him out)
That’s it. Every other hitter in front of him is a Hall of Famer. It is safe to assume that Chipper Jones, Adrian Beltre, and Albert Pujols will all sail into the Hall of fame. Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds are in a different category thanks to PED use.
Among second baseman, Whitaker ranks seventh in career WAR. The other six are all Hall of Famers.
We could go on and on but the point is this: Lou Whitaker deserves the Hall of Fame and deserves to have his number one retired by the Tigers.
Next up is one of the first Detroit Tiger players to ever make the Hall of Fame: