Building a Roster for the Hall of Very Good

Credit: Detroit Free Press

Credit: Detroit Free Press

2B: Lou Whitaker
The Numbers: 74.9 WAR, 56.4 JAWS, .276/.363/.426, 2,369 hits, 244 HR, 1,084 RBI, 1978 ROY

Whitaker being a one-ballot guy is absolutely one of the biggest shams in the history of baseball. He has a higher WAR total than 14 second basemen in the Hall of Fame. In 2001, when he was unceremoniously booted, Dave Winfield (63.8 WAR) and Kirby Puckett (50.9 WAR) were elected, also on their first try. Whitaker got 15 votes in total. He also played before the rise of the truly offensive-minded second baseman, and he still has more home runs than Chase Utley, Robinson Cano, and Dan Uggla (Cano will easily pass him next year). Whitaker was likely penalized for playing in a small market (much like Simmons). He only played in the postseason twice in 19 seasons and made only five All-Star teams. Had he played for the New York Yankees, Whitaker certainly would have received more attention.

Whitaker may get in by the Veterans Committee when he is eligible for that vote, but who knows. Many players who get in via that route manage to remain on the ballot for their entire term before breaking finally breaking through. If there is any justice in the world, Trammell and Whitaker, two of the finest double-play partners in history will one day join the Hall of Fame together.

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