Fred White, who called Kansas City Royals games for nearly three decades, passed away Wednesday due to complications from melanoma. He was 76 years old.
The Homer, Illinois, native was the voice of the Kansas State Wildcats in the mid-1960s through the early 1970s. He began his tenure with the Royals in 1973, spending 25 years in the radio booth with partner Denny Matthews. White was also a play-by-play man on Big Eight and Big 12 telecasts, and called basketball games for CBS and NBC Sports, Turner Broadcasting, and ESPN.
Most recently, White served as the Royals’ Director of Broadcast Services and the Royals Alumni. The day before his death, the Royals announced that White was retiring after 40 years working with the team.
“Fred White has been synonymous with Royals baseball as long as anybody can remember. There are so many people in Kansas City who, when they hear a voice, they knew it was Royals baseball, and Fred was that voice along with Denny for so many years,” vice president of communications and broadcasting Mike Swanson said. “He had a huge influence on my life back in the ’70s, and I’m personally honored that I had a chance to work with him when I came back to town and wish him and his family nothing but the best.”
The team released a statement about White’s death Wednesday afternoon. The statement reads:
“The Kansas City Royals are deeply saddened today to announce the passing of Fred White due to complications from melanoma. White, who spent 40 seasons in the Royals’ organization as an announcer, Director of Broadcast Services and the Royals Alumni, passed away earlier today in hospice care.
There are no details at this time regarding funeral arrangements.”
Former pitcher Jeff Montgomery reflected on Fred White’s contributions to the team, even after he was replaced as the Royals’ broadcaster by Ryan Lefebvre in 1998.
“After he finished a 25-year broadcast career, he was a tremendous asset to the organization because he brought the alumni together,” Montgomery said. “There were a number of alums who kind of felt alienated from the organization for one reason or another, and Fred recognized that the alumni were a significant asset to the organization.”
Before joining the Kansas City Royals, Fred White was the sports anchor at WIBW-TV in Topeka.
We here at The Inquisitr extend our condolences to Fred White’s family and friends.
[Photo credit: Chris Murphy / Flickr]