COG 1928 Part 1 Results: At Whit’s End, Induction

Appearing on his fortieth, and now final, High Heat Stats Circle of Greats ballot, Lou Whitaker at last joins his longtime double-play partner, Alan Trammell, in the Circle of Greats as our 52nd inductee.  Whitaker edged out Sandy Koufax by a mere two votes.  More on Lou and the voting after the jump.

Most Regular Season Games Played at Second Base, American League History:
1. Eddie Collins 2,650
2. Lou Whitaker 2,308
3. Charlie Gehringer 2,206
4. Nellie Fox 2,179
5. Frank White 2,154


Most Seasons, By a Position Player, with WAR of 3.5 or more but less than 7.0 WAR (WAR is Wins Above Replacement, baseball-reference version):
1. 15 seasons, Lou Whitaker
2. 13 seasons, Paul Molitor
T3. 12 seasons, Paul Waner, Fred Clarke, George Davis, Rafael Palmeiro and Sam Crawford


Most Career WAR by a Player Selected in the 5th Round of the June Amateur Draft:
1. Lou Whitaker (drafted 1975), 74.8 career WAR
2. Tim Raines (drafted 1977), 69.1 career WAR
3. Dwight Evans (drafted 1969), 66.7 career WAR
4. Dave Steib Stieb (drafted 1978), 57.2 career WAR
5. Javier Vazquez (drafted 1994), 46.0 career WAR
6. Nomar Garciaparra (drafted 1991), 44.2 career WAR
7. Jack Morris (drafted 1976), 44.1 career WAR
8. Amos Otis (drafted 1965), 42.6 career WAR
9. Burt Hooton (drafted 1968), 35.9 career WAR
10. B.J. Surhoff (drafted 1982) 34.3 career WAR


–It’s interesting that in the previous balloting round, the 1929 round, Whitaker was tied for fifth in the voting, behind not just Ron Santo, who won that election, but also Banks, Marichal and Grich, and tied with Koufax.  Lou seemed to gain momentum as the voting went on, as voters appeared to realize he had a viable chance to win.  Whitaker finished this round (round 52 of our COG balloting) with 26 votes, his highest total.  He had reached 23 votes in his first appearance on the ballot, at round 13, and had received in the range of 20 to 22 votes four times across rounds 20 to 27, but had not thereafter returned to the 20+ vote level until this week.  On the other hand, his last four vote totals have been 1 vote in round 49, 10 votes in round 50 (a nine vote increase), 18 votes in round 51 (an eight vote increase) and 26 this round (another 8 vote increase).  Maybe the most revealing measure of the real value Lou had to voters was that he came into this round tied with Koufax for the largest accumulation of guaranteed eligibility rounds of all the holdovers.

–One thing that Lou did have to overcome to achieve induction is the sheer fame of three pitchers he was competing with and who have garnered much commentary in recent rounds.  Here are how many page views lists as having been received for the b-ref player pages of the following guys:

Sandy Koufax 366, 870
Whitey Ford 162,940
Juan Marichal 143,781
Lou Whitaker 94,263

Perhaps one might guess that 30,000 or so of those Whitey Ford page views may have been High Heat Stats readers just in the last week?


The on-the-bubble list remains status quo for next round, and so does the holdover count of 13, with Ford joining as a holdover, replacing Whitaker.  Koufax, Grich, Marichal and Ford all topped the 25% vote level.

The full spreadsheet showing this round’s vote tally is here: COG 1928 Round 1 Vote Tally.

The vote summary for recent Circle of Greats voting rounds is here: COG Vote Summary 2 .  An archive with fuller details of the 1968 through 1939 rounds is here: COG 1968-1939 Vote Summary .  In both cases, raw vote totals for each past round appears on Sheet 1 and the percentage totals for each past round appears on Sheet 2.


A spreadsheet listing the full membership to date of the Circle of Greats is here: Circle of Greats Inducted Players . You can also now find that same link any time by clicking on “Circle of Greats” at the top of the High Heats Stats home page.

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15 Comments on "COG 1928 Part 1 Results: At Whit’s End, Induction"

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Chris C

I’m curious to see if any of the Whitaker votes transfer to the other second basemen going forward. Perhaps several of them could make it in short order if that were to happen.

David Horwich

birtelcom, where did you find the page view numbers on bb-ref? I can’t seem to find them on the site any more, I don’t know if that’s because they were moved, or because I’m having some sort of massive brain cramp. Probably the latter.

Anyway, Whitaker is the first player from his birth year (1957) to enter the CoG. Birth years with no inductee:

1967 (Smoltz and Lofton still on ballot)
1965 (Biggio)
1936 (Killebrew)
1928 (Ford)

Jeff Harris

My mission in life is complete! Now what? Move to Florida and play golf?

Jeff Harris

Maybe now the Tigers will retire Tramm & Whitaker’s numbers.


If you do Jeff, I can offer this.

A round of golf on the Champ at
PGA National (Honda Classic).

Reminder, the 18th green is about 160
miles from Lakeland.

The Bear Trap is everything you dreamed.


Our long national nightmare is over! I’ve voted in the last 37 rounds and 35 of my ballots included Lou. Looks like Bobby Grich will be my new go-to guy. I’ve voted for him 18 times and it is likely he’ll be on every ballot of mine until he is voted in. Edgar fans will be heartened to hear that he moves up to the coveted #3 spot on my holdover rankings.

Dr. Doom
A half-dozen or so of those Whitey Ford page views were mine, so I’m sure the COG had a significant impact on the numbers. Not HORRIBLY significant, mind you, but of some significance. Unfortunate: Dave Stieb’s last name is spelled wrong in the above post. I’m sure he’s used to it, though. You see it that way a lot. Glad to see Whitaker in. I don’t think I ever voted for him in any of the 40 rounds in which he appeared. I value peak a little too much for “Mr. 4-WAR” to have ever made my ballot. 🙂 Nonetheless,… Read more »
John Autin

Wow, my secret plan to boost Sweet Lou’s cause by *not* voting for him paid off! Now to double that effort on Grich’s behalf….


Lou was a consistent, but not spectacular, performer here as well. Most ballots between 10 and 20 votes in CoG history:

Smoltz 24
Lou 22
Biggio 17
Grich 16
Alomar 16
Sandberg 15
Martinez 14
Murray 13
Walker 8
Lofton & McCovey 7

Smoltz, of course, was on for several more ballots, although of course Lou was on more than some as well. Add ‘without ever having over 30 votes’ and Smoltz and Biggio drop off, leaving Lou alone in first.

Also lovely – Trammell got in with 26 votes too.