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

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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

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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

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–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 baseball-reference.com 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?

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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.

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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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