03/01/2014 5:42 AM
Frank White and Kansas City, Mo., mayor Sly James stopped for a photo in 2013, when the Mayor was at CommunityAmerica Ballpark to lead the seventh-inning stretch. (Photo by Matt Fulks.)
By MATT FULKS
Frank White has done a plethora of things professionally during his adult life — sheet-metal clerk, floor sealer at then-Royals Stadium, roofer, author, baseball coach and manager, broadcaster. Oh, and he was a pretty good second baseman (translated: Hall of Fame caliber). If things go well for White this summer and fall, you can add one more profession: politician.
White announced Thursday morning that he’s running for the Jackson County Legislature 1st District at-large seat
“I’ve wanted to do this for a couple of years,” White said. “As you get close to retirement you look for ways to give back to the community. As I look at what I’ve been able to do and the charities I’ve been involved with, I wanted to find a bigger way to help this community.”
White, 63, is — basically — a lifelong Kansas Citian. White’s family moved to the area from Mississippi in the mid-1950s, when he was about 6 years old. Since that time, White’s neighborhood, blocks from the site of the former Municipal Stadium, has deteriorated, he says.
“I’m now trying to put myself in a position to help the situation on a bigger scale,” he said. “That’s a good motivator and it gives me more passion, because I think we need safer streets, safer parks, we need to combat drugs with our youth, and I’d to see us bring more businesses to the community. You have to care, and I’ve always cared about the community where I grew up.”
Even though White will be campaigning during the baseball season, with the primary election on Aug. 5, he’s looking forward to continuing his coaching duties this season with the T-Bones.
“I’m excited about coming back with the T-Bones this year,” said White, who’ll be in his third season with the club. “I’m happy to be associated with (president) Adam Ehlert, (general manager) Chris Browne and the entire staff. I’m really looking forward to working with new manager John Massarelli, the new coaching staff and the players. It’s always exciting to start a new season, and this year is no exception.”
That feeling is mutual, as White received the support of the T-Bones with his announcement.
“We look forward to seeing Frank in uniform for the T-Bones this season, but we’re excited that he is pursuing his passion of helping people in Jackson County by running for public office,” Ehlert said. “Frank’s values and community commitment, which mirror those of the T-Bones, have been invaluable for the greater Kansas City area — on and off the field, on both sides of State Line — and we look forward to being on this journey with him.”
The T-Bones open the 2014 regular season at home on May 15 against Lincoln.