In his first year of eligibility in 2001, were his hitting statistics being compared to the inflated numbers put up by the players in the steroid era ??
How is it remotely possible that this all-time great second baseman gets eliminated in his first year of Hall of Fame eligibility, not even able to receive the minimum 5% of the vote, but gets an insulting 2.9 % of the vote?
Lou broke into the majors in 1977, he took over the starting position as the Detroit Tigers’ second baseman in 1978, this was around the same time frame as the legendary second baseman Joe Morgan’s career was winding down. The career era of Joe Morgan is Era 5 (1965 to 1977) Joe Morgan put up incredible numbers for the middle infielders in his era. He was also the catalyst of the great Big Red Machine, historically, one of the greatest teams in the history of the game.
Now we will turn our focus to the American League, where he followed another legendary all-time great second baseman Rod Carew (Era5 1965 to 1977.) Rod Carew was the greatest hitting second baseman from 1967 to 1976 before moving over to first base in 1977. Looking back at the career of Lou Whitaker, he did not play in a favorable time frame statistically as a second baseman, he falls in between the great careers of Joe Morgan, Rod Carew, and in the time frame of the inflated statistics of the Steroid Era (ERA 7 1990 to 2001)
• Lou Whitaker- A Gold Glove American League All-Star
• Ryne Sandberg – A Gold Glove National League All-Star
• Lou Whitaker (1977to1995) 244 Career Home Runs/ 8,570 A.B. Runs:1.386 R.B.I.’s :1,084 .276/.363/.426
• Ryne Sandberg(1981to1997)282 Career Home Runs/8,385 A.B. Runs:1.318 R.B.I.’s :1,061 .285/.344/.452
Our player comparisons at baseballsgreatesthitters.com : ERA 6 1978 to 1989
Lou Whitaker ranks as the #1 Second Baseman of his era, slightly edging out Ryne Sandberg. Lou Whitaker ranks as the 19th greatest hitter of his era. Lou Whitaker with his 3.619 rating ranks as the 125th greatest hitter in the pre-steroid listing (1901 to 1989 ) Lou Whitaker, with his 3.619 rating, ranks as the 175th greatest hitter on our all-time list. Lou Whitaker ranks as the 14th Greatest Hitting Second Baseman in Baseball History. Lou Whitaker ranks ahead of seven Hall of Fame second baseman, Ryne Sandberg, Joe Gordon, Billy Herman, Nellie Fox, Red Schoendienst, Johnny Evers, and Bill Mazeroski.
At baseballsgreatesthitters.com we expect some feedback and some opposition with Lou Whitaker slightly edging out Ryne Sandberg in their career rating.
Playing in Chicago for the loveable Chicago Cubs in Wrigley Field certainly is a factor that favors Sandberg. While Lou Whitakers’ final career numbers were the result of very good steady seasons year in and year out but he never had that break-out season. Ryne Sandberg’s final career statistics were the result of having put together five exceptional seasons, with two great power seasons for a second baseman, in 1989 he hit 30 home runs/100 R.B.I’s followed by a 40 home run/ 100 R.B.I. season in 1990.
The career totals for Ryne Sandberg 1,260 S.O. to 761 B.B compared to the career totals of Lou Whitaker’s 1,099 S.O. to 1,197 B.B. this statistic gives a decisive edge to Lou Whitaker.
Hall of Fame Voting:
Lou Whitaker: in his first year of eligibility in 2001 received a mind-boggling 2.9% vote, falling short of the minimum 5% vote, thus eliminating him from the ballot.
Ryne Sandberg: in his first year of eligibility in 2003 received 49.2% of the vote and gets enshrined in 2005 in his third year on the ballot receiving 76.2% of the vote sending him to Cooperstown.
We have created an online petition to have the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee elect Lou Whitaker to the Hall of Fame,
Our goal is to get 100,000 signatures to support Lou Whitaker, present it to the Hall if Fame Veterans Committee when they meet in December 2022, and finally send this great second baseman to Cooperstown.