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Lou Whitaker

From Academic Kids

For the mountaineer, see Lou Whittaker.

Louis Rodman Whitaker, Jr. (born May 12, 1957 in New York City) is a former Major League Baseball player. Whitaker was a second baseman for the Detroit Tigers from 1977-1995.

Whitaker is perhaps best known as half of the longest running double play combination in Major League history. He first played with shortstop Alan Trammell while with the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits, and the two were promoted to the major leagues together at the beginning of the 1978 season. By the end of the season's first month both players had won starting jobs. They would remain teammates until Whitaker retired in 1995.

In 1978, Whitaker won the American League Rookie of the Year Award, hitting .285 with 71 runs, and a .361 on base percentage.

Whitaker enjoyed what was perhaps his best season in 1983, hitting for a .320 average with 12 home runs, 72 runs batted in, and 94 runs. That year he made the first of five consecutive All-Star appearances. In 1984 Whitaker won his only World Series Championship.

In 1985 Whitaker set a record for Detroit second basemen with 21 home runs and in 1986 was a member of a Tigers infield in which every member hit at least twenty home runs. He hit a career-best 28 homers in 1989, one of four times he reached the 20-HR plateau. Whitaker reached two career milestones in 1992, recording both his 2,000th hit and his 200th home run.

In his 19-years career, Whitaker batted .276 with 244 home runs, 1084 RBI, 1386 runs, 2369 hits, 420 doubles, 65 triples, and 143 stolen bases in 2390 games. He also recorded an outstanding 1.089 walk-to-strikeout ratio (1197-to-1099).

Highlights

  • 5-time All-Star (1983-87)
  • 3-time Gold Glove Award (1983-85)
  • Rookie of the Year (1978)
  • Top 10 MVP award (8, 1983)
  • Set Detroit record for home runs by a second baseman
  • Twice hit two home runs over Tigers Stadium roof (1985)
  • Hit a 3-run homer and a grand slam in a single game with a high-career seven RBI (1994)
  • Along with teammate Alan Trammell tied a AL record playing together (1,914 games; August 30, 1995)
  • Between 1983-84 the Trammell-Whitaker duo won twice Gold Glove, joining a select list of eight shortstop-second baseman duos have won the honor in the same season while playing together

See also

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