Wednesday, June 3, 2009

An old friend

By Nate Taylor

At the ballgame tonight, I saw a hometown hero in Frank White. White is a former Kansas City Royal, and he was in St. Petersburg, Fla., to broadcast the Royals game against the Tampa Bay Rays. White is the color commentator for FoxSports Kansas City.

This is White’s first year in the booth after doing various jobs in the organization. White has become a better commentator since the season started, and he feels like a ballplayer again traveling to with the team.

White represents what the Royals used to be. He was a five-time All-Star and won the Gold Glove at second base eight times. He was also there when the team went to both of its World Series. His number is retired by the Royals, and other than George Brett, White might be the most recognizable face in the team’s history.

As the SJI group made its way through the buffet line for dinner before the game, I bumped into White. As usual, he was very nice to talk to for five minutes. I’m still trying to get him to convince his youngest son to come to my school, the University of Central Missouri. So far, White’s son has put in the application, but hasn’t heard anything yet.

Now since I’m just 21, I didn’t get to watch White a lot in my career. Heck, I didn’t really become a Royals fan until 2002. That’s how bad the Royals used to be. A kid who loves sports, it took me forever to give my heart to the Royals.

Still, it was always nice to hear the stories my father would tell me of White. He told me how White had almost unlimited range to either side of the infield at second base. That’s the only way I learned about White.

After we talked, I called my father. He got a good laugh and smile out of it. Now, I’m a friend of an athlete he used to tell me about.

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