MLB Hall of Fame: Ballot not so sweet for Lou Whitaker

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 16: Brayan Pena
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 16: Brayan Pena /
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DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 16: Brayan Pena
DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 16: Brayan Pena /

Second Base

There were no second baseman named on the Modern MLB Hall of Fame, but two significant snubs.

Ballot Snubs: Bobby Grich (69.2 WAR), Lou Whitaker (68.1 WAR)

Two egregious snubs on the Modern Baseball ballot are a pair of very good second basemen who don’t get the credit they deserve. Bobby Grich and Lou Whitaker are two of the ten best second baseman to ever play the game. They are right behind Rod Carew on the all-time list and ahead of Craig Biggio.

Grich didn’t hit for the batting average that Rod Carew did, but he was still close to Carew in offensive production (129 wRC+ to 132 wRC+) and made up some of that difference on defense. Both played more than 2000 games in the big leagues, and Carew had just three more wins above replacement than Grich.

As for Lou Whitaker, it’s shocking that a ballot for this time period could include Alan Trammel and Jack Morris, but not Lou Whitaker. Not only were all three players key members of the great Detroit Tigers team in 1984, but Trammell and Whitaker went together like peanut butter and jelly during their playing days. They played alongside each other for nearly two decades.

Based on Fangraphs WAR, Grich ranks eighth, and Whitaker ranks ninth all-time among second baseman. That’s higher than Hall of Famers Craig Biggio, Roberto Alomar, Ryne Sandberg, and Joe Gordon.