KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Royals Hall of Famer Frank White will not be a part of the team’s television broadcasts in 2012, the Royals and FOX Sports Kansas City announced on Friday.
White, a five-time All Star who played second base for the Royals from 1973 to 1990, and longtime producer Kevin Shank did not have their contracts renewed for the upcoming season. In a joint statement, the team and network said that they intend to “go in a different direction” with the positions for next year.
“FOX Sports Kansas City and the Kansas City Royals appreciate Frank White stepping into a larger role as game analyst the last three seasons,” read the statement. “He shifted from a planned part-time role to a near full-time role and performed admirably in the booth at a time of need. We also want to thank Kevin Shank for his years of leadership as producer of Royals telecasts.”
White’s role on the team’s broadcasts expanded due to the illness of regular Royals broadcaster Paul Splitorff, who died of cancer last May.
The move left many fans, who said that they appreciated White’s insight into the game, shaking their heads.
“I think it’s bad. I think a player like that should have a lifetime job with the Royals,” said fan James Page.
Fan Rick King says that the move to get rid of the popular White was a surprise.
“I’m surprised because of his reputation and the way he was brought up during his play here in KC, he’s definitely a good role model for the community and for KC as a whole, I believe he was a good fit. Quite surprised that he’s gone,” said King.
White had resigned from the club as a senior adviser last January, a position he had held since 2007. Except for a time following his retirement as a player in which he worked as a coach in the Boston Red Sox organization (1992-1996), White had been involved with the Royals organization in one capacity or another since he was signed as an amateur free agent in 1970.
His number 20 was retired by the team and he was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 1995. The team dedicated a bronze statue of White outside of Kauffman Stadium in 2004.
The team said that White had declined a community relations position with the club last January. They added that White continues to be welcome at Royals alumni events, and may serve as a part-time instructor with the team during spring training.
The Royals say that a search for White’s replacement is currently underway.