Lou Whitaker was born in New York but was raised in Martinsville, Virginia and played for the Martinsville High School Bulldogs as a pitcher. A second baseman in the majors, he spent his entire career with the Detroit Tigers. He was known throughout his career as a very private person and spoke very little to the media.
At the 1985 All Star Game in Minnesota, Whitaker left his uniform in his car at the airport in Detroit. When Whitaker realized his error, an emergency uniform was flown in but lost in transit. Whitaker was forced to purchase a replica jersey from a vendor, write the number 1 on the back, wear a Cleveland Indians batting helmet, and borrow a glove from Cal Ripken Jr.. To add insult to injury, Whitaker went 0-2 in the game.
Appeared in an episode of Magnum PI in 1984 (along with Alan Trammell)(Magnum PI Season 4 Episode: A Sense of Debt. At minute 27 of the 48 minute episode.)
During his career, it was generally assumed that Whitaker would get into the Hall of Fame. His one year on the BBWAA ballot did not yield many votes, but he will likely be seen with interest many years from now by the Veterans Committee. The three most similar players to Whitaker based on the similarity scores method give a sense why he will be a good candidate: Ryne Sandberg, Alan Trammell, and Roberto Alomar.