The messy divorce between former All-Star second baseman Frank White and the Royals gets a new public airing Tuesday night when White holds a public reception at the Kansas City Library to discuss details in his new book.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
One Mans Dream, My Town, My Team, My Time opens with Whites memories of the 1985 World Series, which includes an anecdote about White missing the winning rally in the ninth inning of the sixth game because of Reggie Jackson.
But it is Whites depiction of his split from the Royals, which culminated in his ouster from the Fox Sports Kansas City broadcast crew following the 2011 season, that seems likely to draw the greatest public interest.
Somebody wanted to flex their muscles, White writes, and when they did, I was let go. I think that when something really matters to you, when you love something, and they take it away, its tough to come back from.
The Royals broke my heart. They made me feel like I never mattered.
Excerpts from the book, co-authored by Bill Althaus of the Independence Examiner, were made available Monday in advance of Whites appearance at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library at 4801 Main St.
The reception and program are open to the public. Seating is limited. The library is accepting reservations at 816-701-3407. The book is already available online at Amazon.com for $24.95 and is expected to be available in area stores by the end of the week.
White admits he has no proof, but he fingers club president Dan Glass as the person responsible for his dismissal by FSKC.
I think it was because of me quitting the community relations job, White writes, and the team getting so much bad publicity. I think he took it personal. Someone high up in the organization let Fox know they were unhappy. Who else could it be?
White also details his view of the circumstances surrounding his decision to resign from that community relations job because of a pay dispute. He said the club wanted to cut his salary from $150,000 to $50,000 without a commensurate reduction in duties.
When word of Whites resignation surfaced, he said Glass and the Royals blamed him for the subsequent negative publicity.
(Glass) said I had done irrevocable damage to the organization, White writes, and he didnt think it could be repaired I told him, I think you guys have done irrevocable damage to me.
The Royals issued a statement in regard to excerpts released from Whites book:
Frank White holds a special place in Royals history and with our fans evidenced by his statue at Kauffman Stadium, his retired jersey and the many years he was employed by the franchise.
Following his retirement as a player, the Royals arranged for him to hold a number of positions with the team. While Franks role evolved over time based on his own requests as well as the needs of the organization, we were disappointed when he made the decision to leave his position as a community ambassador.
We continue to respect what Frank has done for our city and the role he played in Royals history, and he always will be a part of the Royals tradition.
White, now 62, spent his entire 18-year career with the Royals from 1973-90. He was selected five times to the All-Star Game and won eight Gold Gloves for defensive excellence. His No. 20 is one of three numbers retired by the club.
The World Series title in 1985 remains a professional highlight particularly, White writes, because he batted cleanup. But he admitted he retreated to the clubhouse in the ninth inning of the sixth game with the Cardinals holding a 1-0 lead.
White recalled going into manager Dick Howsers office because there was no way I was going to sit in the dugout and watch the Cardinals celebrate a championship in my town.
Jackson was covering that Series for ABC and saw White in the Royals clubhouse. The two began talking. When the Royals began rallying, White wanted to return to the dugout, but Reggie grabs my arm.
White didnt break free until Dane Iorg delivered his two-run single for a 2-1 victory.
That was my single greatest moment as a Royal, White writes. When we scored that run, we all knew we were going to win Game 7.
The joy of that moment continues to offer a stark contrast to his current status.
I think a team like the Royals needs to embrace its past, White writes, but I was a part of that past and you saw what happened with me. Ill never be a part of that organization again. Youll never see me in that stadium again.
To reach Bob Dutton, Royals reporter for The Star, send email to email@example.com. Follow his updates at twitter.com/Royals_Report.