I am thrilled to share this excerpt from my collaboration with Roy White on his autobiography,
From Compton to the Bronx.
This book will be released in April 2023, but is now available for pre-order.
Initial reviews for this book have been tremendously positive. Here is one:
“Roy White is as dignified a Yankee as there has ever been, one of the many reasons a generation of fans (myself included) grew up imitating his stance.
Paul Semendinger does a masterful job capturing the essence of the great left fielder. This is a must-read about the most underrated Yankee of all time.”
Ian O’Connor, Four-time New York Times bestselling author of “The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter”
My Greatest Baseball Memory
I had an extremely memorable baseball career full of many great moments. There were so many highlights that I sometimes find it difficult to recount them all, but when I stop to think about it, they all come back, slowly, one by one. I have been blessed to have lived the life that I have. Baseball, of course, has been a big part of who I was and who I still am.
People often ask me to recount my greatest baseball memory. Some who remember me ask me about specific moments. I’ll list a few here, all of which were great and are dear memories, but none of which ranks as my greatest memory.
- In my first Major League game, I singled in my first at bat (off Dave McNally of the Orioles). I later scored on a base hit by Tom Tresh. That was in 1965.
- I became known as an outfielder, but I played second base in my first big league starting assignment, a game in which I had two hits.
- The next year (1966), I hit my first big league homer off Sam McDowell (who would one day be my teammate).
- I batted fourth, behind the great Mickey Mantle. I was there to protect him in the batting order.
- I was a two-time American League All-Star.
- I once went an entire season (1971) without making an error in the field. I was the first Yankee to do that!
- I played in the World Series in 1976, 1977, and 1978. We won the World Series, of course, in 1977 and 1978.
- I had some big post season hits including the game winning home run to win the American League Championship Series in 1978 and another home run in the 1978 World Series.
- It was my bat that Bucky Dent used to hit his famous home run in Boston (also in 1978).
- In Japan, I got to play alongside the great Sadaharu Oh. Once again, I hit fourth in the batting order to protect Japan’s greatest home run hitter.
- I am one of only two players in baseball history to play for a winning team in the World Series and the Japan Series (which we won in 1981).
- I served as a Major League Coach and as a front office executive.
- I helped found the Roy White Foundation to assist high school graduates with some of the costs associated with attending college.
- Even today, more than forty years after my last Major League baseball game, fans approach me and tell me that they loved the way I played the game.
I’ll tell those stories and many more over the pages of this book. This is my story, the story of my life and my baseball journey. I am glad to have the chance to share it with you.
As for my greatest baseball memory, well, it was something a bit simpler than just hitting a home run, making a catch, or being part of something memorable. My greatest baseball memory was when I walked into the Yankees clubhouse in Yankee Stadium in 1965 as a player for the very first time. I walked in and looked around the room. I saw Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Elston Howard and Roger Maris. When I was a kid in Little League, I was watching these players. I had their baseball cards. And now, here I was, one of them. I was a big leaguer. I was a New York Yankee.
I remember Tom Tresh, who had been the American League Rookie of the Year in 1962, coming over to me and stating that he was glad that I was part of the team. Phil Linz and then other players did so too.
These weren’t just any baseball players; these were the New York Yankees. The great New York Yankees. These Yankees had been to the World Series the previous year, and the year before that, and the year before that too. These were the Yankees that had been to the World Series 14 times in the previous 16 years. This wasn’t just a great team… these players were part of the greatest dynasty of all time.
And there I was, now part of it. I was welcomed by these players into their locker room as an equal member of this distinguished squad. I soon got to know all of these players personally. I was a New York Yankee.
What could be greater than that?