Sweet Lou broke in with the Detroit Tigers for 11 games in 1977 at the age of 20.
The following season he won Rookie of the Year, playing 139 games at second base.
He’d remain the Tigers’ second baseman for 17 more seasons after that one, amassing 2,390 games in the Big Leagues, all with Detroit.
Whitaker made the All-Star team five straight years from 1983 to ’87.
1984 wasn’t necessarily one of his most prolific seasons with the bat nor in the field.
But he was still solid, batting .289 with 25 doubles and 13 homers.
For a second baseman in 1984, those were great numbers. This is before the Jeff Kent days, you know.
Whitaker also picked up the second of three straight Gold Gloves that he earned between ’83 and ’85, although he was not among the American League’s Top 5 in any range metrics or fielding percentage.
Whitaker’s fielding percentage and range factor / 9 innings were both just a hair below the league average for 1984.
Still, I’m looking forward to breaking out Whitaker’s card if for no other reason than the many memories of watching him play.
I recently added what I consider to be a fun addition to the site.
I went through Baseball Reference and found players who are a part of this replay who have Twitter accounts.
Some are more active than others and there honestly weren’t many that are using it. Most of these guys are in their upper 50s now; not exactly the popular demographic for Twitter users.
But with the guys I was able to locate, I put together a list and their tweets are now showing up in the side rail of the web site. Mobile users can scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the Twitter widget.
Now you can know important things like which hospital in Fargo, ND, Dale Murphy is appearing at this weekend.
I’m not a big Twitter user, but it’s fun to look at that feed in the morning.
#48 on our countdown of 1984’s Top 50 Players is two days away!
More exciting announcements on the horizon.
Willie Wilson (R) celebrates with George Brett (L)
At 28 years old, Willie Wilson finished 10th in AL MVP voting, hitting .301 with 47 stolen bases and 9 triples.
That placed him among league leaders in SB and 3B, neither of which were strange occurrences for Wilson. He placed in the league’s Top 10 in both categories exactly 11 times in his career, leading in triples 5 times and steals once.
It was an impressive season for Wilson, who wasn’t even expected to play in 1984.
After the ’83 season, Wilson and four teammates got busted for attempting to purchase cocaine. They pleaded guilty, serving 81 days in jail.
Commissioner Bowie Kuhn suspended Wilson for the ’84 season, but upon appeal he was allowed to come back on May 15th.
Considering he missed the first month and a half of the season, his numbers are particularly impressive.
Wilson was a two-time All-Star, making the team in ’82 and ’83.
Looking over his career numbers, I’m a little shocked that Von Hayes was only around for 12 years. My memories of him are as a really solid player.
So what happened?
A 7th round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians, for whom he played his first two season, Hayes came over to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1983 as part of a trade that sent Julio Franco over.
Hayes was a perennial speed-power guy, having double-digit steals and homers in the same season seven times between 1982 and 1990.
But in June of ’91, he was hit by a pitch from Tom Browning which broke his arm. He attempted to play again, but his ’92 campaign was a disaster (.225 in 94 games) and he hung up his spikes.
Hayes was part of a solid offensive Phillies team in 1984, hitting .292 with 48 SB and 16 HR. His 251 total bases were 10th best in the National League.
Happy New Year’s from the 1984 MLB Replay blog.
Up in time for the start of 2015 are team pages complete with rosters that are eligible for this 64-game replay as well as the full team schedules.
Also included under the American and National League page headers up top are the full league schedules.
Should be a dandy!
The countdown of 1984’s top players begins in two weeks, so get ready for that! Gonna’ be a fun trip down memory lane.