Veteran Roy White is still a familiar face on today’s baseball fields recently serving as the New York Yankees’ first base and outfield coach for the 2004-2005 seasons under Joe Torre. A popular Yankee in their modern history, Roy’s appointment created great satisfaction for many fans to see the former #6, “old reliable” back in those familiar pinstripes. Anyone who has followed baseball through the last 50 years is probably familiar with the name Roy White, as he has been heavily involved in the game in every decade since the New York Yankees drafted him as a young man back in 1962.
White achieved popularity with fans and peers alike due to his classy, respectful team-first attitude and his many subtle, momentous achievements during an incredible 15-year tenure as a Bronx Bomber. White became a quiet leader of the Yankees arriving when superstars like Mantle and Maris careers’ were coming to a close. As a rookie he absorbed understanding of the finer points of sportsmanship from the late greats and consistently demonstrated what he learned throughout his career as an everyday Yankee player. He started during one of the Yankees least productive periods in the late 60’s and played regularly throughout their exciting dominance in the late 70’s, alongside teammates like Willie Randolph and Thurman Munson.
Roy White was valued as a quiet, dignified man who led by example and let his at bats do the talking. He achieved everyday status in 1968 and hit .267 with 17 home runs, 20 steals, 89 runs, and 73 walks. Military service interrupted his 1969 season, when he made the All-Star team, but he had a career year in 1970 with personal highs of 22 home runs, 109 runs, 94 RBI, and a .296 batting average.
White hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game five times and also switch-hit triples in a game on September 8, 1970, which nobody has ever done more than once in a season. He had speed, too, and stole 233 bases in his career. He was in double figures in steals every season except for his first and last years, and he stole a career-high 31 bases in 1976 at the age of 32. His fielding was just as steady as his other talents, and in 1975 he fielded 1.000, the first Yankee ever to play an errorless season. League-leading performances offensively came in 1972 (99 walks), 1973 (639 at-bats), and 1976 (104 runs). In 1971 he set the American League record for sacrifice flies in a season with 17.
The team regained its championship stature under the ownership of George Steinbrenner in the late 70s and Roy White continued to provide the Yankees with consistent everyday play at the plate and in left field. In 1976, he helped the Yankees to their first pennant since 1964, which inevitably led to back-to-back World Championships in 1977-78. In the 1976 playoffs his six doubles tied the ALCS lifetime record. His best postseason came in 1978 despite just having come off the disabled list when he hit .313 in the LCS, with a game-winning sixth-inning home run in the clincher, and hit .333 with a home run and four RBI in the World Series. In 1980, Roy crossed the Pacific and played for Japan’s Tokyo Giants alongside the great Sadaharu Oh, earning another championship ring and ending his career as a player after 3 great years.
Soon thereafter, Roy embarked on a new challenge. His love for the game and his desire to share his knowledge and expertise with others made him the perfect choice for management. Roy was a Yankee coach in 1983-1984 and again in 1986. Over the course of the next decade, Roy worked for the Yankees in a variety of roles: he spent some time in the Yankee front office as assistant to the General Manager where he worked with talent on every level of the farm system as a roving minor league instructor and acted as scout for the Yankees, providing long range reconnaissance on far east talent like Hideki Matsui. In 1999, Roy headed to the opposite coast to work in the Oakland Athletics organization, as their triple AAA batting coach, where current players like rookie of the year nominee Bobby Crosby spent time under his tutorage. Based in Vancouver, the team went on to win the AAA World Series. Moving to Sacramento the following season, Roy's team of young stars finished first each year until winning another title in 2003.
Roy has been married to his wife Linda, for 41 years and resides in Toms River, NJ. He has two children; Loreena, a Brown graduate, Executive Secretary for Global Crossing and aspiring writer and Reade, a successful independent Public Relations and Marketing Consultant and New York University graduate. The Whites are happy to announce the birth of the newest member of their family, Noah White in 2004. He is the first child for Reade and his wife Kerstin and Roy’s first grandchild.
> Roy White Statistics