DETROIT — Tigers great Lou Whitaker threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 4, and before the game, he was asked what he thought of shortstop Jose Iglesias wearing his jersey No. 1.
“I get the toughest question right off the bat, don’t I?” he joked.
Iglesias got the start at shortstop against the Red Sox with ground-ball inducer Doug Fister on the mound.
After being traded from the Sox to the Tigers at the deadline, Iglesias played 46 games with Whitaker’s number on his back. It hadn’t been worn since Whitaker retired in 1995, and there was some social media and sports talk chatter about whether the number was untouchable in Detroit.
Whitaker, the American League Rookie of the Year in 1978, played all of his 19 seasons with the Tigers.
As a fellow middle infielder, he seemed to have no issues with Iglesias letting the number live on.
“Well, you know, the Tigers want to be No. 1,” said Whitaker. “You need No. 1 on the field. So he was brave enough to ask for it. He got it. I was a rookie when I had it. He’s a rookie. So hopefully he can just have a great career.”