When the Kansas City Royals appeared in the 1985 World Series, manager Dick Howser had to make a difficult, and controversial, call. Because the series started in the National League city of St. Louis, there would be no designated hitter, which meant that Hal McRae would be relegated to the role of a reserve player coming off the bench.
Before the start of the I-70 Series, which featured Howser's Kansas City Royals and Whitey Herzog's St. Louis Cardinals, the veteran manager called Frank White into his office. He asked White to do something that stunned the baseball world. White was asked to hit cleanup for the Royals.
For more than a decade, White was considered the premier fielding second baseman of his generation, but now, he was being asked to become only the second, second baseman in baseball history to hit cleanup in a World Series. The first was Jackie Robinson, the Hall of Famer who broke baseball's color barrier in 1947.
White played a key role as Kansas City rebounded from a 3 games to 1 deficit to claim the lone championship in the history of the proud American League franchise.
White was the hometown kid who made good. He dreamed of playing in a World Series, and he made the most of his opportunity to give the hometown fans a memory they would cherish forever.
For 18 years, White was the gold standard by which every Major League Baseball second baseman was judged. His fielding range was uncanny and his ability to make a pinpoint throw to first base defied description. Yet, near the end of his career, he left the Royals with a bad taste in his mouth. He served as a coach for the Boston Red Sox for a brief stint, but returned to Kansas City with renewed optimism, hoping that one day his dream of becoming a Major League manager would become a reality.
He worked as a coach, a Double A manager in Wichita, Kansas, and served as a team vice president.
Yet, when it came time to name a new field manager, he was always overlooked. He never made his disappointment public, but he would confide to close friends that he was heartbroken by the Royals decisions concerning his future.
In One Man's Dream, White gives fans an inside look at his baseball legacy, from the glory days of the 1970s and 1980s to the disappointing way the team turned its back on its greatest representative -- both on, and off the field.
About the Author
Frank White (1914-2015) started writing the story of his life as a pioneer BC truck driver in 1974 when he was only sixty. His boisterous yarn in Raincoast Chronicles 3 about wrangling tiny trucks overloaded with huge logs down steep mountains with no brakes won the Canadian Media Club award for Best Magazine Feature and was reprinted so many times everyone urged him to write more. He started in his spare time but kept having so many new adventures he didn't finish until his hundredth year under heaven (which he didn't believe in). In the end he had written enough for two books--Milk Spills and One-Log Loads: Memories of a Pioneer Truck Driver (Harbour, 2013), and a sequel, That Went By Fast: My First Hundred Years (Harbour, 2014). The former truck driver, logger, gas station operator, excavationist, waterworks technician and homespun philosopher lived to see 101 years. He shared a home in Garden Bay, BC, with his wife, author Edith Iglauer.
Bill Althaus is an award-winning sports writer and columnist for The Examiner in Eastern Jackson County. Bill has written eight books, including an insider's look at Priest Holmes' and Dante Hall's record-breaking seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and the autobiography of the late Kansas City Chiefs bandleader, Tony "Mr. Music" DiPardo. Bill and hi family live in Grain Valley, Missouri.