Monday, June 23, 2008

Sweet Lou Whitaker

I took my daughter to the pool today and noticed I had left my copy of "Lonesome Dove" in the city. Damn! I pulled out the old reliable Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract revised, published in 2001. Great book to have lying around to learn about each decade of baseball since 1870. He also rates the top 100 players at each position, gives history, opinion and analysis. The analysis is not something I'm crazy about. Gimmee the plain stats. No sabermetrics, win shares and other goofy mathematical formulas. I don't need to think about it that hard.
That being said, Sweet Lou Whitaker is rated as the 13th best second baseman. I looked at his career stats as I am home now, and believe he is got to be on the cusp of THE Hall of Fame.
Here is some basics.
19 seasons
5 time All-Star
World Series Champion
2369 hits
420 doubles
65 triples
244 home-runs
1084 r.b.i.'s
.276 lifetime batting average.

I won't go into comparisons, you can do that for yourself. Believe me, he compares. I remember him well as a player I knew when I was a kid, first starting to watch the game. This awesome, awesome game.

What really caught my attention was the description by James that Whitaker was known as being an airhead.
Here is the exact excerpt by James on Whitaker:

One time he showed up in the All Star game wearing an ill-fitting sort of uniform purchased from a souvenir stand, since he had forgotten to take his uniform to the game. Another time, when an airplane buzzed Tiger Stadium, Whitaker dived to the ground, and was so shaken up that he had to come out of the game. He was a hell of a player, though, and he knew how to play the game. He ranks ninth among all second basemen in runs scored, in RBI, and in total bases, and he was an above-average fielder.

That made me laugh out loud today, and thought I would share that.

Nice Sweep of the Chicago White Sox by the Cubbies this weekend baby!!!!!!!!!

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