The Case of Roy White
One of the greatest parts of being a New York Yankee fan is the history and tradition surrounding it. There really isn't anything like it in all of sports, never mind just in baseball. Monument Park is a great way to explain how most Yankee fans feel and how most non-Yankee fans feel about the Yankees. You'll hear the non-Yankees fans say "There are too many retired numbers!" or "Is Luis Sojo going to have his number retired too?!" It is really just a fun debate to have, as in my opinion, everyone in Monument Park is deserving of having a place. Now, there are some Yankee players not enshrined in Monument Park. I could go on and on about underrated Yankees. Today though, I wanted to focus on one that had a big role with the 1970's Bronx Zoo teams. His name? Roy White.
|Via: Photo File|
Roy Hilton White played his entire career in pinstripes, spanning from 1965-1979. He was a switch hitting, left fielder, who threw right handed and had an overall .271 batting average with two All-Star games next to his name and two World Series rings on his fingers ('77, '78).
The late 1960's for the Yankees were not the prettiest times. Mantle was declining and ownership from CBS was not invested in the team. The late 1970's was centered around the free agents the Yankees had brought in, Billy Martin being hired and fired and of course, George Steinbrenner. So, it is fair to say Roy White was overlooked during most of his career in the Bronx.
I'm pretty big into the advanced numbers of baseball, so let's check out White's.
White had a career .360 on base percentage coupled with a .404 slugging percentage. He had a .281 career batting average on balls in play (BABIP) where .300 is the average. Usually, if you are above .300 in a season, you will regress the next year, as "luck" can be a factor in determining BABIP. White's was on par as he made his own "luck" so to speak.
Another stat I want to look at is weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) which said to be the best stat to view a player offensively, by many analytic figures. White had a 123 wRC+ where 100 is the average wRC+. According to FanGraphs’ he had a WAR of 41.0. Yes, I know WAR is very controversial because it can be calculated multiple ways, but it’s just something to chew on.
Now, you may be asking "Why are you only using career numbers? Why aren't you comparing his numbers to other Yankee greats in Monument Park?"
First, I like to use overall statistics because it combines all the up and down years for a player. Some people like to use peak years to decide how "great" a player may be, which is fair. Also, I stated before that I think everyone in Monument Park right now should be in Monument Park, so it would be two-faced of me to try and say, “Well, Roy White should be in and this player should not.”
I also didn't bring in defensive stats, because like WAR, it can be misleading.
I'm not saying White should have a monument. Those are saved for the GREAT New York Yankee players and executives. I'm not saying his number should be retired either. Because, well, Torre already took it. But, he should have a plaque. He was a career Yankee, and his numbers would be more publicized if he were on a team without such a rich history and tradition.
The best part? You can go follow him on Twitter @RoyWhite_6.
Article by: Tom Cronin
Follow me on twitter @TomCronin161
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