Bill White (first baseman)

For other uses, see Bill White (disambiguation).
Bill White
First baseman
Born: (1934-01-28) January 28, 1934
Lakewood, Florida
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
May 7, 1956, for the New York Giants
Last MLB appearance
September 22, 1969, for the St. Louis Cardinals
MLB statistics
Batting average .286
Home runs 202
Runs batted in 870
Career highlights and awards

William De Kova "Bill" White (born January 28, 1934 in Lakewood, Florida) is a former professional baseball first baseman who played for the New York and San Francisco Giants (1956, 1958), St. Louis Cardinals (1959–65, 1969) and Philadelphia Phillies (1966–68). In 1989 White was elected President of the National League to replace Bart Giamatti, who succeeded Peter Ueberroth as Commissioner. White served as NL president until he retired in 1994.

White became a full-time sportscaster after his playing career ended in 1969, and was the play-by-play man and color analyst for New York Yankees television and radio broadcasts for 18 years.

Playing career

As a minor-leaguer, White was the second black player to play for a Carolina League team – the Danville Leafs (1953). Percy Miller Jr. broke the color barrier for that league in 1951.

In his 13-season major league career, White batted .286 with 202 home runs and 870 RBIs in 1673 games. He was also one of the top defensive first basemen of his time, winning seven straight Gold Glove Awards (1960–66). White batted and threw left-handed.

White is also one of the few MLB players who have hit at least .300 and driven in at least 100 runs in three consecutive seasons.

Broadcasting career

White earned a sports program on KMOX radio in St. Louis while he was still playing for the Cardinals. After he was traded to the Phillies, he did a program there. After ending his playing career White became a sportscaster for WFIL-TV (now WPVI-TV) in Philadelphia. While in Philadelphia, White became the first African-American to broadcast National Hockey League games when he called several games of the Philadelphia Flyers.

In 1971 White joined the New York Yankees' broadcast team. He called Yankee games from 1971 to 1988, most often teamed with Phil Rizzuto and Frank Messer. He did the team's broadcasts on both radio and television during most of that stretch. White was the first African-American to do play-by-play regularly for a major-league sports team.

On New York City radio, White was featured on WMCA from 1971 to 1977, after which the Yankees switched over to WINS. In 1981, the Yankee broadcast team moved over to WABC. On television, White worked with Rizzuto and Messer on WPIX.

Nationally, White helped call several World Series and American League Championship Series for CBS Radio (including the Yankees' World Series appearances in 1976, 1977, and 1978) and did sports reports for the network. White worked as a Monday Night Baseball announcer for ABC television in the late 1970s. He also did pre-game reports for ABC's coverage of the Yankee Stadium games in the 1977 World Series, and handled the post-game trophy presentation for the network after the Yanks clinched the world title in the sixth game.

WPIX and its usual Rizzuto-Messer-White broadcast trifecta carried the ALCS in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980 and 1981, providing New York viewers a local alternative to the nationally-broadcast telecasts.

President of the National League

White was elected to replace Giamatti as NL president in 1989 in a unanimous vote becoming the first African-American to hold such a high executive position in sports.[1] He served as NL president through 1994.

In 2011, White released his autobiography entitled Uppity: My Untold Story About the Games People Play.[2][3][4][5] Bill White currently resides in Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania.

See also


  1. Martinez, Michael (4 February 1989). "Bill White a Unanimous Choice to Head National League". The New York Times.
  2. Bross, Tim (24 April 2011). "'Uppity': A baseball veteran takes a few swings". Philadelphia Inquire. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  3. "Blazing Baseball Trails From Field To Executive Suite". NPR. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  4. Whitaker, Tim (21 April 2011). "The Former Phillie Everyone Should Know". Philly Post. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  5. Sandomir, Richard (22 April 2011). "Bill White, Away From the Rat Race, Is Writing Bluntly About It". New York Times. Retrieved 12 May 2011.

External links

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