The West Michigan Whitecaps will continue to have ‘Tiger Friday’s’ as one of their top promotions next summer. The former Detroiter who will be ‘headlining’ this promotion will be one of the best second baseman in Tigers history…’Sweet’ Lou Whitaker. The other half of one of the greatest double-play tandems in history (along with Alan Trammel) will appear at Fifth-Third Ballpark on June 28. The first 2,000 fans will receive a bobble head, but due to high demand, there will be a raffle for autographs. Nothing has been posted yet on the ‘Caps website on how to enter the raffle, but when they due I’ll be sure to keep it to myself.. I would love to meet Lou, as a fellow second baseman, he’s was one of my idols growing up. He came up just about the time I was really getting into baseball, collecting cards, and getting my jersey dirty on the field myself. In high-school, I was even given the ‘Sweet Lou’ moniker for my play in the field. We’ve actually only been to one Tiger Friday, when we met John Wockenfuss back in 2009. I’ve missed some of my other favorites like Matt Nokes and Mickey Tettleton, though. I’m hoping that either one of the kids or myself win a chance to meet Whitaker. The rest of the participants for Tiger Fridays will be announced later this winter.
Lou played in Detroit for 19 seasons from 1977-1995. He and Trammel were one of the best double-play combinations in the game through out that period. Lou was on that great Tigers’ team of 1984 that roared to the World Series Championship. He was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1978, and a five-time All-Star. In 1985 he was voted to start the All-Star game, but forgot his bag in the back of his car before leaving for Minnesota. He used the glove, batting glove, and helmet from his fellow All-Stars, and wore a Tigers hat and jersey from a souvenir stand. One of the clubhouse attendants drew his #1 on the back with a marker. One of my favorite Lou stories.
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Stealing Second: The West Michigan Whitecaps still sit in second place in the MWL Eastern Division with a record of 18-12, nine game behind the red hot Fort Wayne TinCaps. They remain 3.5 games ahead of the third place South Bend Silver Hawks. The Whitecaps have already secured a playoff spot, though, but hope to gain some ground on the TinCaps. The first playoff game will be at Fifth Thrid Ballpark on Sept. 10.
Player of the Week: ‘Caps outfielder Ben Guez was named Player of the Week (July 20). He’s been hot at the plate since the All-Star break batting .373 with three home runs and 20 RBI’s. For the season he’s slugging .261 with seven homer and 42 RBI’s in 62 games. Guez is the sixth Whitecap to earn Player of the Week honors this seaon (Casey Crosby, Luke Putkonen, Bryan Pounds, Billy Nowlin, and Ronnie Bourquin). Pitcher of the Week: Casey Crosby was named MWL Pitcher of the Week (July 26). Crosby is a 2009 MWL All-Star and has a record of 8-3. His ERA is 2.92 and has struck out 101 batters so far this season. Last Monday he threw five hitless innings against the Kane County Cougars. Crosby is the first Whitecap since Mike Hernandez in 2006 to win the award twice in one season.
Hot Bat: Right fielder Avisail Garcia has had a hot bat his last seven games. He’s hitting .423 with four runs scored and four RBI’s.
Matt Nokes: Former Detroit Tiger Matt Nokes will be appearing at Fifth Third Ballpark on August 31 as part of ‘Tiger Fridays’. Matt was a rookie with the Tigers in 1987 when he was third in Rookie of the Year voting, was selected to the American League All-Star team, and won the Silver Slugger Award. He batted .289 and hit 32 home runs that season.