www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

Defense against demagogues -1/30/2015, 9:44 AM

Kansas is at risk -1/30/2015, 9:44 AM

Football injuries -1/30/2015, 9:44 AM

A note on primitivism -1/29/2015, 9:55 AM

Owning ideas -1/29/2015, 9:55 AM

There's more -1/29/2015, 9:55 AM

Kansas' birthday -1/29/2015, 9:55 AM

Back to the future, locked and loaded -1/28/2015, 9:29 AM

Compromise -- make it happen -1/28/2015, 9:29 AM

Faith v. facts -1/28/2015, 9:29 AM

Counting on Les -1/27/2015, 9:22 AM

Building bills in the Legislature -1/27/2015, 9:22 AM

Tale of the tree -1/27/2015, 9:22 AM

Seismic activity -1/27/2015, 9:22 AM

Where are the good guys? -1/27/2015, 9:21 AM

Brownback's budget -1/26/2015, 9:59 AM

Committee meetings begin -1/26/2015, 9:50 AM

Excitement starts at Capitol -1/26/2015, 9:50 AM

What's happening with oil prices? -1/26/2015, 9:50 AM

Synthetic biology, brave new world -1/26/2015, 9:50 AM

Today's fierce urgency is voter mobilization -1/25/2015, 5:02 PM

Duke, Muslims and politics of intimidation -1/25/2015, 5:02 PM

Right to hunt -1/25/2015, 5:02 PM

Pipeline: Foreign profits, American risk -1/23/2015, 7:47 AM

Social Darwinist 'Christianity' -- Chapter 3 -1/23/2015, 7:47 AM

Kiwanis generosity -1/23/2015, 7:47 AM

The state economy -1/22/2015, 10:23 AM

Restate of the union -1/22/2015, 10:23 AM

France needs our First Amendment -1/22/2015, 10:23 AM

Repurposing Washington -1/20/2015, 9:31 AM

March for Life -1/20/2015, 9:31 AM

Brownback, the budget and schools -1/20/2015, 9:31 AM

Sensible checks are no assault on gun rights -1/19/2015, 9:50 AM

Jeb Bush chooses expedience on marriage issue -1/19/2015, 9:50 AM

The State of the State Address and the legislative session -1/19/2015, 8:47 AM

Spending's not the culprit in budget woes -1/18/2015, 3:32 PM

Pilgrim's paradise -1/18/2015, 3:32 PM

Spring elections -1/18/2015, 3:23 PM

Kobach is back -1/16/2015, 3:04 PM

More with Les -1/16/2015, 10:03 AM

Understanding Hooper -1/16/2015, 10:02 AM

Basic economics -1/16/2015, 10:01 AM

Female governance -1/15/2015, 9:37 AM

2015 energy policy -- a unique opportunity -1/15/2015, 9:37 AM

The better option -1/15/2015, 9:36 AM

'Wall Street' a waste -1/14/2015, 2:50 PM

Trade already -1/14/2015, 2:49 PM

No media bias? -1/14/2015, 2:48 PM

Retirement funds -1/14/2015, 2:47 PM

Redefining public education in Kansas -1/13/2015, 10:06 AM

What the future holds -1/13/2015, 10:06 AM

Efficient education -1/13/2015, 10:06 AM

Terrorists usher in the 'End of Satire' -1/12/2015, 9:14 AM

Sexuality, lame logic, substandard science -1/12/2015, 9:14 AM

A tragic family story -1/11/2015, 12:11 PM

For freedom, LGBT rights, a year of decision -1/11/2015, 12:11 PM

Roberts' promotion -1/11/2015, 12:11 PM

FHSU campaign -1/11/2015, 12:11 PM

Fairness in U.S. -1/9/2015, 3:05 PM

Liberals' use of black people -- Part II -1/9/2015, 9:09 AM

Social Darwinist 'Christians' -- Chapter 2 -1/9/2015, 9:09 AM

Taxing situation -1/9/2015, 9:09 AM

Trust: Society depends on it -1/8/2015, 9:55 AM

Education schools lack a paradigm -1/8/2015, 9:55 AM

Congress convenes -1/7/2015, 10:07 AM

Simple way to fix gridlock: change committees -1/7/2015, 10:06 AM

Kansas is your customer -1/7/2015, 10:06 AM

Large budget shortfalls await solution -1/6/2015, 10:06 AM

The state and funding K-12 education -1/6/2015, 10:06 AM

Tree removal -1/6/2015, 10:06 AM

Republicans won -- now what? -1/5/2015, 9:13 AM

Social Darwinist religion, Chapter 1 -1/5/2015, 9:13 AM

Liberals' use of black people -1/2/2015, 9:53 AM

Ignorance abounds -1/2/2015, 9:53 AM

Superbug dilemma -1/2/2015, 9:53 AM

Thanks North Korea -12/31/2014, 1:26 PM

Sony gets the last laugh -12/31/2014, 1:26 PM

Free speech -12/31/2014, 1:16 PM

New Year's resolutions -- sort of -12/31/2014, 9:22 AM

A flat-footed backflip for Wall Street -12/31/2014, 9:22 AM

Dim the lights -12/31/2014, 9:22 AM

Some near-sure bets for the new year -12/31/2014, 9:21 AM

Adios, Rick Perry -12/30/2014, 8:20 AM

Budget strife means high-anxiety session -12/30/2014, 8:20 AM

Time for caution -12/30/2014, 8:20 AM

-12/29/2014, 10:01 AM

Court's raw deal -12/29/2014, 10:01 AM

Chris Christie's pork barrel politics -12/29/2014, 10:00 AM

A Festivus Miracle -12/27/2014, 4:18 PM

Faith, not politics, keeps Christ in Christmas -12/27/2014, 4:18 PM

EPA rule falls short -12/27/2014, 4:18 PM

2014: The year in Kansas higher education -12/26/2014, 9:39 AM

Methane from cattle -12/26/2014, 9:39 AM

Black progression and retrogression -12/26/2014, 9:38 AM

Up-Lyft-ing Christmas tale -12/25/2014, 1:22 PM

Terrorism on soft targets -12/25/2014, 1:22 PM

Story of Christmas -12/25/2014, 1:22 PM

Fabricated column -12/24/2014, 8:21 AM

The Christmas spirit dwells in us all -12/24/2014, 8:21 AM

Celebrating life -12/24/2014, 8:21 AM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Pulling out the radio and remembering

Published on -5/22/2013, 10:41 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

Fred and Denny.

I knew them on a first-name basis when I was growing up, as did countless other Royals fans.

That's why I was saddened to learn Fred White passed away a week ago today. White, 76, died of complications from melanoma.

Fred White joined with Denny Matthews to form the best broadcast team the Kansas City Royals ever had. Their complementary, laid-back style was perfectly suited for their audience. No histrionics needed on a home run call in a 7-2 game in July; save that for the Yankees.

Fred -- I can't bring myself to call him by his last name, as you are taught in school -- was with the Royals one way or another over four decades. He did games on the radio until he was replaced in 1998 after 25 years on the air.

In reading about Fred's death, there was a story that the team wanted a fresh voice as the reason he was let go. Typical of the Royals; they don't know a good thing when they have it.

Same thing happened when the team didn't want former Royals Hall of Famer Frank White in the booth any more; he was too critical, supposedly. Hey, when you saw the awful Royals teams on the field that he saw, it's hard not to be critical. Still, I don't remember hearing Frank White say something on the air and thinking, "Wow, he really slammed the team."

The Royals organization, to its credit, did make a classy gesture in the team's first game after Fred White's death. The first half-inning of the Royals' game with the Angels was televised with no announcers, just a picture of the former broadcaster was on the screen.

Still, instead of class acts like Fred White or Frank White, Royals fans have had to endure "Hud" in the TV booth since the start of last season. Now, Rex Hudler seems like a nice guy, but he's not a fit for Kansas City. His animated act and corny inside baseball cliches might play well in some parts of the country, but not here.

It's a startling contrast to years gone by. I know, you have to be careful when you talk about "the good old days" because in fact those days really weren't all that good in many respects. For instance, I prefer air conditioning and cable TV, something we didn't have when I was growing up.

Still, give me Fred and Denny any day, any year. When the Royals became a franchise in 1969, I started listened to games on the only radio we had in the house, next to the phone in the kitchen. It would be late at night, and I would be listening with glove in hand, pitching along with Wally Bunker and Dick Drago, and later, Paul Splittorff.

Splittorff also became a broadcaster after his playing days. And I felt the same sadness when he, too, succumbed to complications of melanoma in 2011.

They are not alone. Right fielder Al Cowens, he of the big Afro and quick bat, also is no longer with us. Neither is catcher Darrell Porter, with the Coke bottle glasses. Or Dan Quisenberry, the popular submarining reliever with the bushy mustache and quick wit. And then there's manager Dick Howser, who led KC to its only World Series title, in 1985.

Fred White, for me and so many others, felt like a close friend we invited into our homes on summer evenings. So tonight, when KC is playing in Houston, I think I will shut off the TV, at least for a while, and sit outside and listen to the game on the radio, remembering years gone by.

I will remember Fred -- and Denny, too -- and what they meant to this Royals fan for so many years.

Randy Gonzales is a reporter at The Hays Daily News. rgonzales@dailynews.net

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos

AP Breaking News
AP Nation-World News

View this site in another language.