Goodbye Fred White, One Royal Voice

Long out of print, the
1999 book was free of scandal.
Where did the pair
like to eat on the road?
Hey, it was the real Fred!

The Kansas City Royals lost an unsung hero this week.

Fred White passed away from cancer at age 76, less than two days after announcing his retirement.

White’s full-time gig as the broadcast partner of Denny Matthews marked the first 25 years of the K.C. franchise.

He was solid, consistent. Forget the bluster and glitz. This was a Midwesterner for a Midwest club. White never dissed the Royals when he was replaced with a younger voice, publicly (even on the air) sticking up for “new guy” Ryan Lefebvre.

White was there for so much Royals history. Sadly, because he wasn’t a fixture in card sets, autograph collectors missed out. I could find only two recorded fan letters on Of course, steady Freddy signed both times.

Don’t miss out getting autographs from baseball’s storytellers. Print out a photo. Find a collector online making custom cards. See if you can swap for an extra.

You may wind up with a team-issued card or other bonus for your efforts.

Just don’t wait too long.

Meanwhile, enjoy this heart-felt tribute from Craig Brown at Royals Review.

Sharing Airtime With Royals Hall of Fame Broadcaster Denny Matthews

Iowa Cubs broadcaster Randy Wehofer found life announcing for a Royals affiliate had one major perk:

Guest shots in the Kansas City broadcast booth!

More than once, Wehofer shared airtime with the Royals broadcast team. He wrote to share his experiences broadcasting from major league venues:

“Denny Matthews, and everyone with the Kansas City Royals, was extremely nice to me. Denny offered me some nice compliments both on and off the air. But for being in broadcasting, he is a man of few words off the air. He was gracious and welcoming and that’s all I could have hoped for. Ryan Lefebvre and Fred White have served more in a mentoring role for me over the years and I appreciate their help. Most of all, I have a lot of confidence knowing I’ve sat in the booth for a real major league game next to a Hall of Fame broadcaster and he told me that I did a good job.”

Wehofer broadcast from Wrigley Field in 2009, when his I-Cubs played a PCL game there.

“The trip to Wrigley was a great experience, especially for a guy who grew up in Chicago going to games there as a kid. I always thought Wrigley Field was the biggest place in the world growing up. But going back after all these years and visiting so many other parks, my biggest impression was to realize how “small” and quaint Wrigley is and why it earns the nickname “The Friendly Confines.”

Lastly, I wanted to ask a radio broadcaster: do you get tired of being a voice without a face? Don’t you want your own baseball card?

“I was part of a staff group picture that was on a card in our team set my first year in 1999 in Burlington. It’s fairly obscure. The most recognition I’ve received comes from being invited to be the emcee for the annual awards banquet at the winter meeting twice in the last four years. Over 2,000 people from both major and minor league baseball and national media members attend that event. I’ve also made a few presentations at the minor league baseball promotional seminar. Those events have given me the chance to meet a lot of people and let many in this business get to know me. I’ve really enjoyed those opportunities.”

I wish Randy Wehofer many more seasons of opportunities. He enjoys them all.

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