Info for Students » Uncategorized

Althaus: It’s not Kauffman, but White finds baseball home

I had lunch with Frank White last week and the eight-time Gold Glove winner and five-time all-star asked me a question that caught me a bit off-guard. “I’ve been offered a coaching job with the T-Bones, what do you think?” asked White, between greeting fans and making everyone feel special at Tim’s Pizza.      It’s been well documented that the Kansas City Royals Hall of Famer was no longer associated with the Major League Baseball team, as the Royals removed the man who has a statue in center field of Kauffman Stadium from their broadcast team. White has opened a business, 8G’s – a reference to his eight gold gloves – and is now busy giving group and private baseball lessons in Lee’s Summit, his longtime home base. But Frank White is a baseball man. While George Brett is perhaps the greatest player of his generation, White was the personality of the Royals for 18 years. It never surprised me to see him sitting on the hood of his car after a game, chatting with a group of fans in the stadium parking lot. And if you don’t have a Frank White autograph, you don’t want it because he has never turned down a fan’s request. When Tim’s Pizza owner Tim Pace learned that White was coming for lunch, he offered a private room. White would have nothing to do with that. He enjoys visiting with baseball fans nearly as much as he did robbing Reggie Jackson of a base hit to right field. “I’m excited about the T-Bones organization,” White said. “I love working with the kids. Teaching is a passion. That’s why I’m working with kids in Lee’s Summit. I want to help little leaguers and pros be the best they can be.” The move is a win-win situation for the T-Bones and White. White is back in uniform and the American Association team has a Hall of Famer on its staff. White was named the American League Championship Series MVP in 1980 and hit cleanup in the 1985 World Series, when the Royals won their lone championship. He was just the second second baseman to hit cleanup in a Fall Classic. The first was Jackie Robinson. “That puts me in some pretty good company,” White said. White will join manager Tim Doherty’s staff and will serve in a variety of roles from the bench, and as first base coach. He will also work alongside T-Bones vice president and general manager Chris Browne, who first met White during his years as the Royals bat boy and clubhouse attendant. I had lunch with Frank White last week and the eight-time Gold Glove winner and five-time all-star asked me a question that caught me a bit off-guard. “I’ve been offered a coaching job with the T-Bones, what do you think?” asked White, between greeting fans and making everyone feel special at Tim’s Pizza.      It’s been well documented that the Kansas City Royals Hall of Famer was no longer associated with the Major League Baseball team, as the Royals removed the man who has a statue in center field of Kauffman Stadium from their broadcast team. White has opened a business, 8G’s – a reference to his eight gold gloves – and is now busy giving group and private baseball lessons in Lee’s Summit, his longtime home base. But Frank White is a baseball man. While George Brett is perhaps the greatest player of his generation, White was the personality of the Royals for 18 years. It never surprised me to see him sitting on the hood of his car after a game, chatting with a group of fans in the stadium parking lot. And if you don’t have a Frank White autograph, you don’t want it because he has never turned down a fan’s request. When Tim’s Pizza owner Tim Pace learned that White was coming for lunch, he offered a private room. White would have nothing to do with that. He enjoys visiting with baseball fans nearly as much as he did robbing Reggie Jackson of a base hit to right field. “I’m excited about the T-Bones organization,” White said. “I love working with the kids. Teaching is a passion. That’s why I’m working with kids in Lee’s Summit. I want to help little leaguers and pros be the best they can be.” The move is a win-win situation for the T-Bones and White. White is back in uniform and the American Association team has a Hall of Famer on its staff. White was named the American League Championship Series MVP in 1980 and hit cleanup in the 1985 World Series, when the Royals won their lone championship. He was just the second second baseman to hit cleanup in a Fall Classic. The first was Jackie Robinson. “That puts me in some pretty good company,” White said. White will join manager Tim Doherty’s staff and will serve in a variety of roles from the bench, and as first base coach. He will also work alongside T-Bones vice president and general manager Chris Browne, who first met White during his years as the Royals bat boy and clubhouse attendant. “I am thrilled to announce that Frank will be joining the T-Bones,” Browne said. “He will be an asset to Tim, our coaching staff and a great addition to the clubhouse overall. I look forward to seeing No. 20 in uniform at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, and I know our fans will too.”     White began his coaching career in 1992 when he was named manager of the Boston Red Sox’s Gulf Coast League affiliate. He later became first base coach for the Royals from 1997-2001, and eventually moved on to his most recent coaching stint with the Royals former Double-A affiliate, the Wichita Wranglers, where he served as manager from 2004-06. “I want to thank Chris for thinking of me and making this possible,” White said at the press conference where the T-Bones introduced their new coach. “We have a long history together, and I think this is a great way for me to give back to the game of baseball. I would also like to thank the T-Bones’ owners, John and Adam Ehlert, and I look forward to working with Tim to help him reach the team’s goals.” There wasn’t a moment when White wasn’t beaming during our lunch. And who could blame him? He was going home. His new home might be a few miles west of Kauffman Stadium, but anytime the greatest second baseman of his era is on a baseball diamond, it’s home.  

Comments are closed.