On June 12, 1973, KC Royals Hall of Famer Frank White made his MLB debut at Memorial Stadium. An inauspicious and hitless start was the beginning of White's 18-year playing career in a Royals uniform.
A KC Royals legend, Frank White appeared in the MLB 50 years ago today.
The second baseman had an accolade-studded career from 1973-1990. He won six Gold Glove Awards consecutively from 1977 to 1982, becoming the first American League second baseman to win eight over a career. White was one of the best defensive second basemen of his era and possibly of all time. The Royals Hall of Fame describes White's "unmatched style and grace" on the field. That pose led to five All-Star appearances for White, who is one of five Royals to reach that mark in the franchise's history.
White's impact on the Royals franchise cannot be overstated. Serving as a key contributor to the team's triumphs in the 1980 and 1985 World Series, he played an integral role in securing Kansas City's place in baseball history. He earned ALCS MVP honors thanks to his defense and hitting .545, helping the Royals to the World Series.
While renowned for his defensive abilities, White was no slouch at the plate. Finishing his career with a respectable .255 batting average, he showcased occasional power, belting 160 home runs and driving in 886 runners. His clutch hitting and ability to rise to the occasion made him a formidable force in crucial moments. White's remarkable consistency and dedication throughout his career earned him the distinction of being named the Royals' second-ever team captain from 1989 until his retirement in 1990.
The Royals retired White's number 20 in 1995, the same year the team inducted him into their Hall of Fame. Following his playing career, White transitioned into coaching and front office roles. From 1994 to 1996, he served as a first base coach for the Boston Red Sox, and later, from 1997 to 2001, he held the same position with the Kansas City Royals, wearing uniform number 20 for both teams. After his coaching stints, White took on the role of managing the Wichita Wranglers for three years before joining the front office of the Royals.
White went to Lincoln High School in Kansas City and is still serving the community. He currently serves as the county executive in Jackson County, winning the position's election three consecutive times.
As we pay homage to Frank White's illustrious career, we celebrate his enduring legacy as a Royals legend. His exceptional defensive skills, solid offensive contributions, and unwavering leadership qualities cement his status as one of the greatest players in Royals history. White's impact on the game and the community serves as a shining example for aspiring athletes and a reminder of the indelible mark he left on baseball.