Batting eighth for the KC Royals: 2B Frank White
For 18 illustrious years, from 1973 to 1990, Frank White donned the Royals uniform, showcasing a commitment that is increasingly rare in modern sports. At the heart of the diamond, White's mastery at second base was unparalleled, earning him a staggering eight Gold Glove Awards—a record for the Royals. His defensive ballet was further accentuated by an impressive fielding percentage of .984, making him a stalwart presence in the infield.
Beyond his defensive wizardry, White's offensive contributions were equally impactful. With a career batting average of .255, he amassed 2,006 hits, 160 home runs, and 886 RBIs. Notably, he achieved the rare feat of hitting for the cycle twice, on Sept. 26, 1979, and Aug. 3, 1982.
White's prowess was not just confined to individual milestones. His leadership qualities were evident when he, alongside Brett, was named the first team captain in Royals history in 1989. This leadership was complemented by accolades, including the Most Valuable Player Award in the 1980 American League Championship Series and being crowned the Royals Player of the Year twice.
The pinnacle of White's career came in 1985 when he played a pivotal role in the Kansas City Royals' World Series triumph. His contributions were invaluable, cementing his status as a legend in Royals folklore.
Such was his impact that the Royals immortalized White's legacy in multiple ways. They retired his No. 20 jersey in 1995 and welcomed him into their Hall of Fame in the same year. Additionally, a bronze statue of White stands majestically at Kauffman Stadium, ensuring that his legacy remains indelible for generations to come. His 31.1 fWAR stands among the Royals' best, ranking fifth in franchise history.