Tigers to Finally Retire Lou Whitaker's No. 1 in Universally-Praised Decision

Lou Whitaker
Lou Whitaker to have number retired by Detroit Tigers | Mark Cunningham/Getty Images

It's only decades too late, but the Detroit Tigers are immortalizing one of their own, even if the Hall of Fame continues to shamefully leave him on the outside looking in.

No other Detroit Tiger will wear Lou Whitaker's No. 1. An honor typically reserved only for the team's Hall of Famers, Detroit is making an exception for a man that, by most metrics, ought to join his old double-play partner Alan Trammell in Cooperstown. Instead, Whitaker must settle for this, albeit an accolade he will always treasure.

Whitaker was a paramount member of the Tigers' last World Series-winning team in 1984, and has a career WAR of 75.1, higher than the likes of Jim Thome, Frank Thomas, Ryne Sandberg, Derek Jeter and Reggie Jackson, for starters .

Sure, Whitaker lacks the New York City flair and the memorable championship moments in part due to the era he played in and the Midwest baseball market, but he's undoubtedly one of the best players in franchise history, and among the underrated second basemen (and players) in baseball history.

Lou's chances at baseball immortality are long, especially since he isn't on the modern era ballot until 2022. His place in Detroit sports lore, however, cannot be questioned.

Congrats, Lou. You've earned it, while patiently waiting your turn.