One Man's Dream: My Town, My Team, My Time

Frank White throwing to first base to complete a double play
Frank White with Bill Althaus
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Saturday, May 10, 2014

This is the autobiography of Frank White, the 8-time Gold Glove second baseman for the Kansas City Royals. White describes his childhood and the loving support of his family while growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, his high school days at Lincoln High School, and playing baseball as a young teen. He was a pretty good pitcher in those days. Interestingly, he describes fearful moments when visiting relatives in his birthplace, Mississippi, during the 1950s and 1960s when he and his friends dashed away from roadsides when cars filled with white people sped along the roads.

White describes himself as a good ball player in his high school days, but he never believed he would play professionally. That changed when he attended a try-out camp for the Royals' experimental baseball academy in Florida, a combination junior college and minor league camp. White developed his skills to become a capable minor league shortstop and eventually honed them to become an All-Star second baseman and capable hitter. Late in his career, White became a power hitter and hit cleanup in the 1985 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. White provides interesting insights about key Royals games during his career, including matchups with the Yankees, the Toronto Blue Jays during the 1985 American League Playoffs and the Cardinals during the 1985 World Series.

In the last part of the book, White describes his days in the Royals public relations department and in the broadcast booth, and spends much time on the circumstances of his departure from the Royals organization.

White's book would have been much more compelling if he had spent more time telling baseball stories and less time describing the unfortunate circumstances of his departure from the Kansas City Royals organization as a public relations official and broadcaster. His insights about the 1985 World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals leave readers begging for more anecdotes of Royals games throughout his career. What strategies did the Royals employ against great American League players like Reggie Jackson, Nolan Ryan, and Catfish Hunter? Where did the early Royals get that intense winning attitude to become the most successful expansion team in the history of the game? What were the stories of other great Royals players in his era? What caused the franchise to slide after 1985, and how can the Royals reverse their fortunes?

It was also disappointing that White did not share stories of his 1960's playing days in the Kansas City Ban Johnson and Casey Stengel Leagues.

Vince S.

Written by Vincent S.

Fun fact: I was an extra in the movie, Midway, in 1975