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For a time in the mid-1980s, it looked like the annual Gold Glove Award would come with Lou Whitaker’s name pre-printed on its base. From 1983 to 1985, Whitaker was the game’s preeminent second baseman, helping Detroit rise from a second-division ballclub into the American League powerhouse that won the 1984 World Series over San Diego. This Gold Glove for the 1984 season was the second of the three consecutive awards Lou won. That it dates from the ’84 Championship season makes it all the more special. That summer, “Sweet Lou” hit .289 with 13 homers, earning him a spot on the American League’s All-Star team and the second of his four Silver Slugger Awards. However, it was Whitaker’s fielding in Detroit’s middle infield that really made the difference for the Champs. Lou helped turn 83 double plays, registered 290 putouts and racked up 405 assists that stymied any offence his opponents tried to unleash on the Tigers. His negligible 15 errors in 1,195 innings led to an enviable .979 fielding percentage. It was these numbers that drove the Tigers to the World Series and made the vote for that year’s Gold Glove second baseman just a formality. Lou’s 1984 Gold Glove Award is a 17 x 16 inch trophy featuring a gold-painted Rawlings glove mounted on a solid oak base. A portrait of a smiling Lou Whitaker is etched into a metallic gold colored plate, below which is a second engraved plaque with “1984 Rawlings Gold Glove Award Presented to LOU WHITAKER” flanked by two Rawlings logos. A pair of gold baseballs mounted on a tripod of miniature bats completes this imposing award. The award displays beautifully, with just some minimal scuffing and edge wear from age. A tremendous piece from one of the most valuable components of Detroit’s 1984 World Championship team, their second baseman Lou Whitaker.

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