Ernie Whitt


Ernie Whitt

Infobox MLB retired
bgcolor1=black
bgcolor2=#005ac0
textcolor1=white
textcolor2=white
name=Ernie Whitt
position=Catcher
bats=Left
throws=Right
birthdate=birth date and age|1952|6|13
debutdate=September 12
debutyear=1976
debutteam=Boston Red Sox
finaldate=July 3
finalyear=1991
finalteam=Baltimore Orioles
stat1label=Batting average
stat1value=.249
stat2label=Home Runs
stat2value=134
stat3label=RBI
stat3value=534
teams= As Player
*Boston Red Sox (1976)
*Toronto Blue Jays (1977-1978, 1980-1989)
*Atlanta Braves (1990)
*Baltimore Orioles (1991)As Manager
*Canada (2006)
highlights=
*All-Star (AL): 1985

Leo Ernest "Ernie" Whitt (born June 13, 1952 in Detroit, Michigan) is a former Major League Baseball catcher and coach noted for the twelve years he spent as a player with the Toronto Blue Jays. When he left the team following the 1989 season he was the last original Blue Jay left from when Toronto joined the major leagues in 1977.

Playing Career

Whitt was selected in the 15th round of the 1972 amateur draft by the Boston Red Sox, and he made his major league debut on September 12, 1976. With his path to the majors blocked by future Hall-of-Famer Carlton Fisk he was left unprotected during the expansion draft that transpired after the 1976 season, and was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Whitt spent most of his time in the minor leagues in the first few seasons; Whitt speculates in his autobiography that Blue Jays manager Roy Hartsfield had a low opinion of his potential, as most of the catching duties when to Alan Ashby and Rick Cerone. With Hartsfield's departure prior to the 1980 season, new manager Bobby Mattick believed in Whitt's ability as a player, and Whitt remained with the club through the next ten years.

It was during the 1980s that Whitt had his best years, putting together some very productive seasons despite spending most of this time platooning behind the plate with Buck Martinez. In 1985, he hit .245 with 19 HRs and 64 RBIs. In 1987, he bettered himself to .269 (a career high), 19 HRs and 75 RBIs (also a career high). Due to his longevity as well as his good numbers, he is widely regarded as the Blue Jays' greatest catcher of all-time.

The Blue Jays fan support was high during Whitt's tenure, and he became one of the more popular players; fans at Exhibition Stadium frequently chanted his first name when he stepped into the batter's box, an event which was captured in a commemorative Ernie Whitt bobblehead issued by the team in the first decade of the Twenty-First Century.

Whitt parlayed his popularity into the publication of an autobiography "Catch: A Major League Life," providing an insider's glimpse into both the 1988 season and Whitt's early days coming up through the minors. The book includes adventures such as entering bowling tournaments to win money for food. The book also caused a stir upon publishing due to Whitt's controversial labeling of umpire Joe Brinkman as "incompetent".

Following the 1989 season, Whitt was traded to the Atlanta Braves to make room for young catchers Pat Borders and Greg Myers. After a year in Atlanta and a further half-season with the Baltimore Orioles, Whitt retired at age 39.

Coaching Career

Given his years of promoting baseball in Canada while a member of the Blue Jays, Whitt remained active as an ambassador of Canadian baseball, eventually taking out Canadian citizenship. Indeed, Whitt's coaching career first came to prominence in his capacity as manager of the Canadian national baseball team. In the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, he guided the team to a 4th-place finish in the baseball tournament. Whitt also managed the Canadian national baseball team to a 3rd place finish in Pool B at the 2006 World Baseball Classic.

Whitt also served as both the Blue Jays' bench coach and first base coach starting in 2005, and was rumoured to be a potential replacement for then-encumbent manager John Gibbons until Gibbons and several coaches were fired midway through the 2008 season.

ee also

* Top 500 home run hitters of all time
* Major League Baseball hitters with three home runs in one game

External links

* [http://www.baseball-reference.com/w/whitter01.shtml Baseball Reference]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 1989 American League Championship Series — Infobox LCS alcs = yes year = 1989 champion = Oakland Athletics (4) champion manager = Tony La Russa champion games = 99 63, .611, GA: 7 runnerup = Toronto Blue Jays (1) runnerup manager = Cito Gaston runnerup games = 89 73, .549, GA: 2 date =… …   Wikipedia

  • Clearwater Threshers — Founded in 1985 Clearwater, Florida Team Logo …   Wikipedia

  • Chris Begg — Medal record Men’s Baseball Competitor for  Canada Baseball World Cup Bronze …   Wikipedia

  • 1985 American League Championship Series — Infobox LCS alcs = yes year = 1985 champion = Kansas City Royals (4) champion manager = Dick Howser champion games = 91 71, .562, GA: 1 runnerup = Toronto Blue Jays (3) runnerup manager = Bobby Cox runnerup games = 99 62, .615, GA: 2 date =… …   Wikipedia

  • Matt Stairs — Outfielder / First baseman / Designated hitter Born: February 27, 1968 (1968 02 27) …   Wikipedia

  • Corey Koskie — Third baseman Born: June 28, 1973 (1973 06 28) (age 38) …   Wikipedia

  • Jesse Crain — Chicago White Sox No. 26 Relief pitcher …   Wikipedia

  • Toronto Blue Jays team records — All Time Statistical Leaders= Individual Blue Jay Career RecordsBatting Leaders *Batting Average: .307 Roberto Alomar *On base percentage: .395 John Olerud *Slugging percentage: .556 Carlos Delgado *OPS: .949 Carlos Delgado *Games: 1,450 Tony… …   Wikipedia

  • 1991 Baltimore Orioles season — MLB yearly infobox name = Baltimore Orioles season = 1991 misc = current league = American League y1 = 1901 division = East Division y2 = 1969| Uniform logo = ballpark = Memorial Stadium y4 = 1954 city = Baltimore, Maryland y5 = 1954 owners = Eli …   Wikipedia

  • Vince Perkins — Toronto Blue Jays Pitcher Born: September 27, 1981 (1981 09 27) (age 30) Bats: Left …   Wikipedia


We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.