Government & Politics

Frank White’s 1985 World Series trophy brings record price and much-needed cash

See some of the baseball memorabilia Royals legend Frank White is selling

Frank White, the former Kansas City Royals great, has put about 70 items from his personal collection of baseball memorabilia up for sale through an online auction by Crown Sports Auctions in Lenexa.
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Frank White, the former Kansas City Royals great, has put about 70 items from his personal collection of baseball memorabilia up for sale through an online auction by Crown Sports Auctions in Lenexa.

Frank White’s miniature World Series trophy went for $33,000, while another online bidder claimed the former Royals great’s 1980 Gold Glove award for $13,398.

In all, a trove of baseball memorabilia owned by the onetime Kansas City second baseman and current Jackson County executive brought close to $80,000 at last month’s online auction, according to Crown Sports Auctions.

White declined comment through a county spokesperson on how he plans to spend his share of the proceeds after the auction house collects its fees, which weren’t specified but typically range from 20 to 35 percent.

But besides freeing up closet space, White’s sell-off could relieve some of the financial pressure he has been under since his ties to the Royals were severed seven years ago.

Since White became the county’s top elected official in 2016, his Lee’s Summit house has been listed for foreclosure three times, most recently in April.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is looking into how White and his wife, Teresa, were able to remove their home from the foreclosure list the first time, in April 2016. Citing anonymous sources, The Kansas City Star reported in December that an Independence lawyer and real estate investor who does business with the county loaned the Whites an unspecified amount to cover delinquent mortgage payments.

To avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, however, the money was funneled through a third party, one source with direct knowledge of the transaction said.

After conducting an initial investigation based on The Star’s reporting, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker handed it off to Hawley last month.

White consigned more than 70 lots for auction, either as individual pieces or in groups of items.

A few went unsold during the month-long auction because bidders did not meet the floor price White had set. Chief among them was a special award Royals fans gave him in 1989 when he was passed over for what they thought should have been his ninth Gold Glove award.

He set the minimum fairly high on that piece, because he didn’t want to part with it, Crown Sports Auctions co-founder Jeff Logan said.

White’s World Series trophy, on the other hand, sold for what Logan thinks was a record price for a player’s trophy. He said it was the first one from the 1985 championship team to go on the market. Logan said the previous record sales price for World Series trophies was the $12,000 paid — $15,000 with the added buyer’s premium — for the trophy Leawood’s Joe Carter received for helping the Toronto Blue Jays win the 1993 series.

But Carter told The Star on Monday the trophy that sold was a smaller version given to friends and business associates. He did not sell it, he said, and still has his larger “commissioner’s trophy.”

“I will never sell my stuff,” he said.

Logan said other former members of championship teams took note of White’s auction and have been expressing interest in selling their trophies as well.

”I guarantee you there’ll be another player’s trophy in the August auction,” he said.

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