Detroit Tigers to retire Lou Whitaker’s No. 1 jersey in-person this season

Detroit Free Press

Finally, the date is set for Lou Whitaker.

The Detroit Tigers will retire Whitaker’s No. 1 jersey on Aug. 6, in a pregame ceremony before facing the Tampa Bay Rays at Comerica Park, the team announced Tuesday.

Whitaker’s number was originally retired in December 2019. A ceremony was slated for the 2020 season, but the Tigers postponed the ceremony because fans were not allowed in the ballpark due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

[ Former Tigers manager Jim Leyland: Barry Bonds ‘belongs in Cooperstown’ ]

Other former Tigers already have retired numbers: Charlie Gehringer (No. 2), Alan Trammell (No. 3), Hank Greenberg (No. 5), Al Kaline (No. 6), Sparky Anderson (No. 11), Hal Newhouser (No. 16), Willie Horton (No. 23) and Jack Morris (No. 47).

The ceremony for Whitaker in August marks the Tigers’ first jersey retirement since Trammell in August 2018. As a second baseman, Whitaker turned double players with Trammell for nearly 20 seasons.

Whitaker, who turns 65 in May, will be the ninth Tiger to have his number retired, though he isn’t in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was worth 75.1 WAR, according to Baseball Reference, tied with Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench for 80th in baseball history.

Trammell, by the way, was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2018.

FROM 2019: It’s time to elect Tigers’ Lou Whitaker to Baseball Hall of Fame

MORE: Lou Whitaker’s Hall of Fame case never far from Alan Trammell’s mind

Whitaker spent his entire 19-year MLB career with the Tigers, hitting .276 with 244 home runs, 1,084 RBIs and a .363 on-base percentage, to go with a 11% strikeout rate and 12.0% walk rate. He stole 143 bases and played 2,390 games.

The second baseman was the 1978 American League Rookie of the Year and helped the Tigers win the 1984 World Series. He was a five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger and three-time Gold Glove winner.

The Tigers drafted Whitaker in the fifth round of the 1975 draft.

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

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