www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

-3/6/2015, 10:18 AM

Spring forward -3/6/2015, 10:18 AM

-3/6/2015, 10:16 AM

General misconduct -3/5/2015, 10:48 AM

Remembering Washington school -3/5/2015, 10:48 AM

Raping culture -3/5/2015, 10:46 AM

Summer school -3/5/2015, 10:45 AM

Raiding KDOT -3/4/2015, 9:22 AM

Attending the Western Farm Show -3/4/2015, 9:22 AM

Education funding -3/4/2015, 9:22 AM

Tornado awareness -3/4/2015, 9:22 AM

Farmers and property taxes -3/3/2015, 9:51 AM

What's next after Turnaround Day? -3/3/2015, 9:51 AM

Giuliani, once heroic, now simply foolish -3/2/2015, 9:34 AM

Money: The first primary -3/2/2015, 9:33 AM

Kansas' fate is more tragic than comic -3/1/2015, 12:43 PM

Tweeting -- and setting nation's 'chat agenda' -3/1/2015, 12:43 PM

Flying Hays, again -3/1/2015, 12:43 PM

The cancer of multiculturalism -2/27/2015, 9:14 AM

Supreme Court justice selection -2/27/2015, 9:14 AM

Welcome to Hays -2/27/2015, 9:14 AM

Sentencing reforms make us smarter on crime -2/26/2015, 9:23 AM

Presidential candidates -2/26/2015, 9:23 AM

Kochs and unions -2/26/2015, 9:23 AM

A future of guns -2/25/2015, 9:43 AM

Lesser prairie chicken -2/25/2015, 9:42 AM

Radical Islam -2/25/2015, 9:42 AM

Agriculture can do the job -2/25/2015, 9:42 AM

Brownback's first date OK -2/24/2015, 8:59 AM

Institutional racism? -2/24/2015, 8:50 AM

Continuing to march -2/24/2015, 8:50 AM

Going without meat -2/23/2015, 9:55 AM

Toward a transhuman future? -2/23/2015, 9:55 AM

Schools still struggle with religion -2/23/2015, 9:55 AM

Sacking the school finance formula -2/22/2015, 5:45 PM

Beheadings and Bill O'Reilly -2/22/2015, 5:45 PM

-2/20/2015, 10:00 AM

Kansas the Fruitcake State -2/20/2015, 9:59 AM

We know the drill -2/20/2015, 9:59 AM

The credit hour is not dead -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Picking judges -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

No gatekeepers -2/19/2015, 10:12 AM

Drone warfare -2/18/2015, 9:46 AM

Fire remains vital management tool -2/18/2015, 9:46 AM

Moore stands on the wrong side of history -2/18/2015, 9:46 AM

School board elections -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Supporting Washington -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Saving Washington -2/17/2015, 10:26 AM

Free tuition -2/17/2015, 10:26 AM

Gov. Brownback outlines education allotments -2/16/2015, 9:22 AM

The new 'normal' family? -2/16/2015, 9:22 AM

What's best for education -2/16/2015, 9:22 AM

Tourism sparks Kansas economy -2/16/2015, 9:22 AM

Worry about what's important -2/15/2015, 4:15 PM

You can't make this up, and, well, you shouldn't -2/15/2015, 4:15 PM

Unequal Kansas -2/15/2015, 4:15 PM

Fairness and justice -2/13/2015, 9:44 AM

Overcriminalization of America -2/13/2015, 12:50 PM

Reconsider repurposing -2/12/2015, 9:45 AM

Secretary of fraud -2/12/2015, 9:45 AM

Spontaneous order -2/12/2015, 9:45 AM

Elementary 'efficiencies' -2/12/2015, 9:45 AM

Gift of gab? -2/11/2015, 10:04 AM

Gambling with KPERS -2/11/2015, 9:55 AM

Out of jail, but not yet free -2/11/2015, 9:54 AM

No eggs for breakfast? -2/11/2015, 9:54 AM

Consequences of your vaccination decision -2/10/2015, 9:11 AM

What's in a name -2/10/2015, 9:11 AM

Measles outbreak -2/10/2015, 9:11 AM

Mental disability is not a fad -2/9/2015, 9:12 AM

New genes: angels or demons? -2/9/2015, 9:12 AM

'Can't anybody play this game?' -2/8/2015, 4:43 PM

Vaccines, science and the limits of freedom -2/8/2015, 4:43 PM

Tourney moving -2/8/2015, 6:34 PM

Tragic school stories -2/6/2015, 10:02 AM

Social Darwinist 'Christianity' -- Chapter 4 -2/6/2015, 10:02 AM

Fiscal insanity -2/5/2015, 9:45 AM

Parasites all around -2/5/2015, 9:45 AM

Bigger dictionaries -2/5/2015, 9:45 AM

Something obscene about civil asset forfeitures -2/4/2015, 10:05 AM

Feeding children -2/4/2015, 10:05 AM

Stop fowl play -2/4/2015, 10:04 AM

The 'Kansas Experiment' -2/3/2015, 9:48 AM

Free college -2/3/2015, 9:48 AM

Gun rights -2/3/2015, 9:48 AM

Clearly, it's still a mess -2/3/2015, 9:48 AM

Public business -2/3/2015, 9:48 AM

The governor's budget -2/2/2015, 9:14 AM

Committee hearings ongoing -2/2/2015, 9:13 AM

Pontiff wrong on freedom of expression -2/2/2015, 9:12 AM

Indiana's 'JustIn' thankfully on the way out -2/2/2015, 9:12 AM

Coming home in an unexpected manner -2/1/2015, 2:17 PM

The myth of the monolith -2/1/2015, 2:17 PM

Gifted students -2/1/2015, 2:17 PM

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

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