12/28/06 9:00 AM ET
White hopes to catch voters' eye
Former Angels outfielder appears on Hall ballot for first time
By Ryan Quinn / MLB.com
White was a seven-time Gold Glove winner and had a .987 fielding percentage at his position. The three-time World Series winner is making his first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot.
White was drafted by the California Angels in the sixth round of the 1981 draft and made his debut in 1985. White played his first full season in 1987 and hit .263 with 24 homers and 87 RBIs. The switch-hitting slugger also stole 32 bases that season and placed fifth on the Rookie of the Year ballot.
The following season he won his first Gold Glove while playing in 122 games. In 1989, White made his first All-Star Game and won another Gold Glove while stealing a career high 44 bases.
A year later, he was traded with Willie Fraser and Marcus Moore to the Toronto Blue Jays where he would have his best years in the Majors.
In five years with the Jays, White won two rings and five Gold Gloves. He hit .270 during the regular season and upped his average to .336 in the playoffs with Toronto. In October, White made himself known to many Blue Jay fans and to a few Braves fans also.
In Game 3 of the 1992 World Series against the Braves, White was the vital part of one of the most famous plays in Toronto history. With David Justice batting and runners on first and second base, Justice hit a deep fly that White tracked down and caught while leaping into the padded blue wall. White then threw the ball to John Olerud at first to try to double up Terry Pendleton, but Pendleton had already been called out for running past Deion Sanders. Olerud quickly threw it to Kelly Gruber who chased down Sanders, diving and nipping him on the heel with his glove. However the umpire didn't see the tag, and called Sanders safe, which cost the Jays the second triple play in World Series history. After the game, the umpire watched the replay and confessed that he missed the call.
White's famous catch and throw rank right up there with Willie Mays' over the shoulder catch in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series. Toronto went on to win Game 2, 5-4, and won the Series in six games.
In Game 6 of the Series, White was one of the two runs that scored on Dave Winfield's 11th-inning double to left field, which eventually won the world championship for the Blue Jays.
White and the Jays returned to the Fall Classic in 1993 against the Phillies and White hit his first World Series homer in Game 1 against Curt Schilling as the Jays won, 8-5. He batted .292 as Toronto won in six games with Joe Carter's famous walk-off homer off closer Mitch Williams.
In 1995, White's last season with the Jays, he finished with a career-high .284 batting average.
White was granted free agency after the 1995 season and was signed by the Florida Marlins. Florida made it to the postseason in White's second year with the club and ended up being a small hero in the playoffs, despite hitting .215 in the postseason. In the NLDS White hit a grand slam in the sixth inning to finish off the sweep against the San Francisco Giants. The Marlins went on to win the World Series against the Indians in seven games and White earned his third ring.
White was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks after the World Series and became the first All-Star for Arizona in 1998. He went 3-for-3 with a triple and scored a run as the NL lost 13-8. He hit .279 for the D-backs that season with 22 homers and 85 RBIs.
White played the next two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers and finished his career with the Milwaukee Brewers. In his final season at the age of 38, he played in 126 games and had zero errors in 190 opportunities.
Ryan Quinn is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.