Frank White

Frank WhiteOne could make the argument that Frank White was the best defensive second baseman of the 1970s and early 1980s. He won eight Gold Glove Awards while prompting observers to use words like “smooth” and “fearless” to describe his play at the position. White was as good at playing the infield on artificial turf as any player of his generation and he was excellent at turning the double play. He is one of only two Royals players to have his uniform number retired (#20 along with George Brett‘s #5).

Like many middle infielders of his era, White slowly matured from a singles hitter into an offensive player who could sting the ball on occasion. He gradually started to hit more doubles and then topped 20 homers twice in the late 1980s. He was a five-time All-Star and led the American League in putouts twice and assists once.

The biggest hit of his career came in the fifth inning of Game Three of the 1985 World Series when he socked a two-run homer of Joaquin Andujar to stake the Royals to a 4-0 lead. He had seven hits, four extra-base hits, and four RBI in that Series as Kansas City finally won the World Series title in seven games.

Frank White and George Brett appeared in 1,914 games together from 1973 to 1990, setting a record for games by teammates that was later surpassed by Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker of the Detroit Tigers.