For those who don’t know, Frank White started at second base for the Kansas City Royals from 1973 to 1990. He was a sterling fielder, leading the league in fielding percentage on three occasions and winning eight Gold Gloves. He went to four All-Star games and won a championship in 1985. Unfortunately for White, the rules of baseball require everyone to participate in the offense as well as the defense. A .255 lifetime hitter, he also supplied little power.
To determine his Hall of Fame chances, it is helpful to have a basis for comparison. Recent Hall inductee Bill Mazeroski serves this purpose perfectly. Like White, Maz won eight Gold Gloves and was considered a superior defensive player. Maz hit .260 for his career, also with little power. Both men had one shining moment in the postseason – Maz with his 1960 World Series-winning home run and White with his big Game Three in the 1985 Series. Maz’s career on-base percentage was slightly higher. White’s career slugging percentage was slightly higher. Neither had any one great season at the plate.
So, what does this all add up to? After examining the information, I can conclusively say that Frank White’s Hall of Fame chances are…up in the air. His career closely resembles Mazeroski’s, so one could argue that he too belongs in Cooperstown, but personally, I don’t think either one should be in. Maz was elected three decades after he retired by the Veterans Committee, which has a self-imposed mandate to elect someone every year. So if the system stays as is, White also has a chance of getting in somewhere down the line. However, there’s a reason why he hasn’t been selected yet.