Born: 5/12/1957 in Brooklyn, New York
Major League Career: 1977-95
Games Played at Second Base: 2,308
Most Games Played For: Detroit Tigers
Photo via Brettkiser's Blog
Lou Whitaker has the most games at second base of any player not in the Hall of Fame. His career is forever tied to that of shortstop Alan Trammel. The two were the longest running double play combination in Major League history. Both men played their entire careers for the Tigers and are beloved in Detroit.
Photo via basically gherkins
Whitaker's credentials are stellar: five All-Star Games, one World Series title, three Gold Gloves, four Silver Sluggers and the 1978 Rookie of the Year Award. Bill James, the sabermetrics guru, ranked him as 13th best second baseman of all-time in his Historical Baseball Abstract. He is not in the Hall despite having stats comparable to his National League contemporary, Ryne Sandberg, inducted in 2005. He will be eligible for the Veterans' Committee ballot in 2015.
For last year's A-Z Challenge, I featured players of the Baltimore Orioles/St. Louis Browns organization, my favorite baseball team. I managed to cover every position on the field except for one: second baseman. As such, I decided to devote this year's challenge entirely to the second base position, honoring the individuals who earned their keep playing one of the game's most demanding defensive positions.
Head on over to Blogging from A to Z April Challenge to find others joining the adventure.