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Whitmer Honors Legendary Detroit Tiger Lou Whitaker


August 5, 2022


Gov. Whitmer Honors Legendary Detroit Tiger Lou Whitaker

“Sweet Lou’s” jersey #1 retired at Comerica Park

LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Whitmer issued a tribute honoring Lou Whitaker for his historic career with the Detroit Tigers. The recognition comes as the Tigers are set to retire his #1 jersey on Saturday at Comerica Park.  

 "Lou Whitaker was one of the best second basemen to play the game, there's no question," said Governor Whitmer. "Just look at the list of accomplishments: Rookie of the Year, 5-time All-Star, 4 Silver Sluggers, 3 Golden Gloves, and of course, a World Series ring in '84. Every sports fan in Michigan knows 'Sweet Lou' belongs in Cooperstown along with Alan Trammell, but until that happens, retiring #1 at Comerica is a fitting honor for one of the best ballplayers to wear the Old English D. Congrats, Lou, and let's go Tigers!"

The full proclamation can be viewed below.

LET IT BE KNOWN, That we are excited to join Detroit Tigers fans around the world in celebrating the retirement of Lou Whitaker’s jersey. This honor is much deserved and long overdue, and we are humbled to join in congratulating “Sweet Lou” upon this remarkable achievement.

Lou Whitaker joined the Major Leagues in 1977 and became the starting second baseman for the Tigers by the end of April in the 1978 season. After an impressive first year in the league, with a .285 batting average and .361 on-base percentage, Whitaker was given the American League Rookie of the Year Award. This would set the tone for an outstanding 19 seasons with the Tigers.

In 1983, Whitaker began to cement himself in Tiger history. In addition to his first All-Star game appearance, he finished the season winning his first of three Gold Glove awards and the first of his four Silver Slugger awards as a second baseman. In the 1983 American League MVP Award voting, Whitaker finished eighth. His performance in 1983 only continued into the 1984 season, as he picked up a second consecutive Gold Glove – and the first World Series victory for the Tigers since 1968.

Lou Whitaker’s career ended in 1995 after an impressive 19 seasons with the Tigers. He finished his career with 244 home runs, 1,084 RBIs, and a .984 fielding percentage. With shortstop Alan Trammell, he set a Tigers record for 1,527 double plays. Whitaker was undoubtedly one of the greatest second basemen of his time, and we are so fortunate he spent his career in Detroit. His dedication, work ethic, and love for the game represent what it means to be a Tiger, and we look forward to seeing his jersey enshrined in Tiger history.

IN SPECIAL TRIBUTE, Therefore, this document is signed and dedicated to Lou Whitaker to recognize his incredible career with the Detroit Tigers. May the number 1 be immortalized in Comerica Park to inspire Tigers fans and players alike for generations to come.