Second Base – Lou Whitaker was the Tigers fifth round in the 1975 draft and went on to become the 1978 AL Rookie of the Year, a five-time All-Star, a four-time Silver Slugger winner, and a three-time Gold Glove winner. Sweet Lou played in the big leagues for 19 years, all with the team that drafted him and in his 2,308 games, all but 32 (DH) were as a second baseman.
Whitaker played 162 games against the boys from Minnesota hitting .298 with an OPS of .832. His 172 hits included 34 doubles, seven triples and 14 home runs. Whitaker walked off the Twins twice, both times with singles off of closers Mike Marshall and Ron Davis. To show the respect that Twins managers had for Whitaker, you don’t need to look any further than the 10 IBB that Twins pitchers issued to Whitaker. Whitaker is one of only 15 players to have been given 10 or more IBB by Twins pitchers since 1961.
The runner-up for this spot is Roberto Alomar who put up similar numbers against the Twins over the years. I could have gone either way with these two players, one is a Hall of Famer and the other should be a Hall of Famer. Whitaker has a career WAR of 74.9 and Alomar has a WAR of 66.8. To be honest and fair, I see each player with a strike against them in the fact that one spit in an umpires face and the other didn’t stand for the national anthem. I know it has nothing to do with their play against the Twins but this Twins all-opponent team is strictly my opinion, my list and it is what it is. You are always welcome to express your opinion as well.
Our previous selections for the Twins all-opponent team
Catcher – Ivan Rodriguez
First Baseman – Paul Konerko