Roy White… Compton to the Bronx…
by Paul Semendinger
April 30, 2023
This article by Ray Negron was shared with me and shared with permission from the author. This article originally appeared on NYC Tastemakers.
April 28, 2023
By Ray Negron
When the New York Yankees were so bad in the late 60s and early 70s a young Roy White was so damn good. He almost single-handedly kept the Yankees machine going until Bobby Murcer and Thurman Munson were ready to help make the Bronx Bombers true contenders again.
Roy White use to play left field as if he was Spider-Man. He would climb left-field walls and bring back potential homers. He was famous around the league for his many diving sliding catches. Even though Roy should have been a lead-off hitter because he was one of the fastest players in the major leagues and a switch hitter with great bat control he had to bat cleanup in order to protect the aging Mickey Mantle and then the young Murcer who was considered a young budding star.
Roy did anything and everything that the organization needed of him until the arrival of the Yanks’ next true superstar named Reggie Jackson. At that point, Roy was able to settle in as a number 2 hitter in the order with one one of baseball’s all-time great clutch hitters in Munson hitting 3rd and Mr. October, Reggie Jackson hitting 4th. Roy should have charged a toll because he was truly the bridge from The end of the Mantle Maris era till the Munson Jackson era and 3 pennants and 2 World Championships.
As someone that has been around for 50 years, I can honestly say that after witnessing the play of Roy White through all those years he would probably of been paid 20 million dollars today. The Yankees’ greatest pitcher ever and also the smartest was Whitey Ford. Whitey once said that the most underrated baseball player of all time has to be Roy White. I remember driving with Thurman Munson on many occasions and we would talk about the team and he would always mention the respect he had for Roy and the fact that we didn’t appreciate him the way we should because he considered Roy Yankee royalty.
I recently finished reading Roy’s new book. It’s called…Roy White, From Compton to the Bronx. It’s a wonderful book with great stories about his difficult journey to the big leagues and how Mickey Mantle and others protected the young black Yankee.
It has wonderful anecdotes about Munson and Reggie and so many of the Yankee greats and the not-so-greats.
Roy has a dear friend and business partner by the name of Maury Bauer. I honestly believe that Roy couldn’t have a more loyal friend than Maury. For years he has been pushing for Roy to have a plaque hang in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium. I debate with Maury about different sports and entertainment issues… I will not argue with him on this one because Maury is absolutely right on this one. Roy White deserves to be acknowledged in Monument Park.
Thanks for your service Roy, You have been a proud and wonderful Yankee.