COMMERCE — Frank White, one of only three members of the Kansas City Royals to have his number retired, will be the special guest at the 21th annual Mickey Mantle Classic.
“He should be a good one,” tournament director Brian Waybright. “He’s had a longtime connection to the game since he has been a coach and announcer.
“He should be a good regional draw for us.”
The starting second baseman on the Royals 1985 World Series champion team, he continues a guest speaker arc that has featured players who were part of the infamous Pine Tar Game at Yankee Stadium.
Former New York Yankees Goose Gossage, Graig Nettles and Ron Guidry and ex-Royals Gaylord Perry and Willie Wilson have been previous guests who played in the game, which was played July 23, 1983.
With two out in the top of the ninth inning George Brett hit a two-run homer off Gossage that gave Kansas City a 5-4 lead.
However, manager Billy Martin successfully protested that pine tar on Brett’s bat went up further than allowed.
He was called out, ending the game. During the ensuing argument, Perry grabbed the bat and raced into the Kansas City dugout and hid it.
The Royals protest of the game was upheld and the final four outs were played on Aug. 18.
As a form of protest, Martin shuffled players around and had Guidry — who won 170 games over 14 seasons in New York — in right field.
White’s No. 20 was retired and he was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 1995.
A bronze statue of White is located just outside Kauffman Stadium — which he helped build on one of his first jobs.
The most valuable player of the 1980 American League Championship Series against the Yankees, he was a five-time All-Star and an eight-time Gold Glove Award winner.
In 18 seasons, White he played 2,324 games and hit .255, had 160 home runs and drove in 886 runs.
He was one of only three graduates of the ahead-of-its-time Royals Academy to break into MLB.
Since retiring from the Royals, he’s been a coach with the Royals and Boston Red Sox and was a part-time analyst on Royals’ TV broadcasts.
Since 2014, he’s been a member of the Jackson County (Missouri) Legislature. He was elected Jackson County Executive in 2016.
The 2020 tournament will be played April 9-11 on the field that honors “The Commerce Comet.”
Buffalo Run Casino Resort is the tournament’s main sponsor.
As a result, the awards banquet and auction will now be held at the Peoria Showplace.
Additional details will be announced at a later date.