Thursday, May 18, 2017

Where in the World in Roy White Day at Yankee Stadium?


Every time the New York Yankees organization holds a “day” at Yankee Stadium, Derek Jeter Day being the most recent ceremony in the Bronx of course, there is also a clamoring from the fans for a day for this player or that player from the past. No player is brought up more so than Roy White and he was brought up again on the blog this past week by one of the members of the Greedy Pinstripes family, Rev LGMofield, and I have to say that I 100% absolutely and completely agree with his post. His comment was that if the Yankees can hold a Tino Martinez Day and a Paul O’Neill Day that they should be able to have a Roy White Day and Mr. Mofield couldn’t be more correct in that statement. Here’s just a few of the reasons why Mr. White has been snubbed in my opinion.


Tino Martinez played a whole seven seasons for the Yankees amassing 1,054 games and 4,244 plate appearances for the pinstripes. Tino slashed .276/.347/.484/.831 during that time with 192 home runs and 739 RBI. Tino had a 16.6 WAR while with the New York Yankees but most importantly he replaced a legend and fan favorite in Don Mattingly.

Paul O’Neill meanwhile played a whole nine seasons in the Bronx which included 1,254 games and 5,368 plate appearances. During his tenure as the Yankees right fielder O’Neill slashed .303/.377/.492/.869 with 185 home runs and 858 RBI. O’Neill had an amazing 26.6 WAR during his time with New York and quickly became one of the most beloved Yankees during the dynasty era. Remember him walking off the field in Yankee Stadium during the 2001 World Series with the Arizona Diamondbacks? Just thinking about that crowd chanting his name gives me chills and it’s been 16 years later now.


Roy White on the other hand played his entire 15- season career with the Yankees from 1965 to 1979 appearing in 1,881 games while taking 7,735 chances at the plate for the Yankees. White hit 160 home runs in an era where there wasn’t many hitting 30 home runs a season let alone more, unlike the time that both O’Neill and Martinez played, and drove in 758 RBI while slashing .271/.360/.404/.764. It’s nearly impossible, and a bit redundant in my opinion, to compare eras and the game of baseball 30 seasons later but that stat line looks an awful lot like Tino Martinez’s stat line, doesn’t it? Well until you look at WAR and see that White had a 46.7 WAR in his 15 seasons. One could argue he was more valuable than both O’Neill and Martinez combined, he just didn’t have the help behind him and beside him that the other two did.

Now I get the whole sentiment that both Martinez and O’Neill were part of the “Dynasty Years” that brought the Yankees four World Series championships and such but are the Yankees using Monument Park to honor and commemorate the player or the team? Because if it is the player then White is getting the short end of the stick here by the Yankees. White cannot help the fact that he played with the Yankees during 60’s and 70’s when the Yankees were terrible, that’s on management and ownership and namely George Steinbrenner. When White did make the postseason (1976, 1977 and 1978) he did slash .278/.387/.430/.817 reaching the World Series in all three seasons and winning two of them alongside Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson and others.

Tino Martinez Yankees Stat Line:

Year Age G PA R H HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
1996281556718217425117.292.364.466.830108
1997291586859617644141.296.371.577.948143
1998301426089214928123.281.355.505.860124
1999311596659515528105.263.341.458.800104
200032155632691471691.258.328.422.74989
2001331546358916534113.280.329.501.830114
20053713134843731749.241.328.439.767104
NYY NYY 105442445661039192739.276.347.484.831113
Paul O’Neill Yankees Stat Line:

Year Age G PA R H HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
199330141547711552075.311.367.504.871136
199431103443681322183.359.460.6031.064177
199532127543821382296.300.387.526.913137
199633150660891651991.302.411.474.885123
1997341496378917921117.324.399.514.912137
1998351526729519124116.317.372.510.882130
1999361536757017019110.285.353.459.812107
2000371426287916018100.283.336.424.76092
200138137563771362170.267.330.459.789105
G PA R H HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
NYY NYY 125453687201426185858.303.377.492.869125
Roy White Yankees Stat Line:

Year Age G PA R H 2B HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
1965211447714203.333.404.381.785126
196622115356397113720.225.308.345.65392
1967237023822488218.224.287.290.57775
19682415966089154201762.267.350.414.764137
1969251305425513030774.290.392.426.818133
197026162712109180302294.296.387.473.860142
19712714763486153221984.292.388.469.857149
19722815566676150291054.270.384.376.760130
19732916272388157221860.246.329.374.703102
1974301365566813019743.275.367.393.761121
19753114863681161321259.290.372.430.802128
197632156728104179291465.286.365.409.774128
19773314360672139251452.268.358.405.762109
197834103395449313843.269.349.393.742112
1979358123624446327.215.290.288.57859
15 Y15 Y188177359641803300160758.271.360.404.764121
162 162 16266683155261465.271.360.404.764121
Now while I understand that this goes far beyond just a simple look at the stats. I know it has a lot to do with what the player did for the team and what the team meant to the game at the time and all that but still, the stats go hand-in-hand with that in my opinion. You have to be a big part of the city and the team on and off the field in my opinion to find yourself in Monument Park, and honestly I wasn’t alive when Roy White was in his prime so I don’t know what kind of character he was in the clubhouse and on the field, but the stats back up the claims.



Now where’s my Roy White Day at the Stadium?

Again, a big shout out to Rev LGMofield for the idea for the article and the great comment. Enjoy the day.


*stats and stat lines courtesy of Baseball Reference

4 comments:

  1. I agree Roy White should have his day.He was their LF during the bad years and then DH /LF during 77 and 78.
    I like him and aleays said he should had a day before O'Niel

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  2. I watched RW play many, many times at the stadium. I agree 1000%. Deserves to be honored as a great Yankee as much as any other. I had the pleasure of sitting with him for a few hours on a couple occasions, my company was doing a charity website for him. He was a gentlemen and total class act. We spent an hour talking about the "Bronx Zoo" as the champs of the 70's became known. I hope they do a Roy White Day.

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  3. Great article and bang-on right. Roy White day. About time

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  4. Thank you for recognizing Roy White. I was alive for White's time with the NYY, growing uo when the Yankees really stunk. During those years from the mid 60s to the early 70s Roy White was the best position player, as close to a hero as a kid could root for on the team along with pitcher Mel Stottlemyre. White made the All star team a few times and happily, was around for the team's 3 pennants and World Series wins in the 70s. Most of all, Roy White was someone to look up to on and off the field. Sadly, many younger fans are unaware of his 15 solid years in pinstripes

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