Got Me a Great of the Game ‘Graph Goin’ On

I have very few card collections given my limited resources and space, but I did decide some time ago to begin collecting on-card Royals autographs. It’s been a blast so far trying to track these things down and this is the latest addition to my collection. To view the cards currently in the collection, take a look at the Gallery or the other posts in this series. I’m working on getting a legit want list together on my trade page but, in the meantime, if you have any on-card Royals autos that it looks like I don’t have, don’t hesitate to drop me a line!

(Referring to Dwayne Wayne glasses): He'll flip ya. Flip ya for real.

Yesterday I showed off my sweet 1988 Donruss Frank White from the 2004 Donruss Recollection Collection. I mentioned it was my second Frank White auto but then realized I never showed my first! Well, here it is. One of the best on-card auto sets from the glory days of Fleer, 2000 Greats of the Game caught my eye even though I was nowhere near collecting at the time. Simple, elegant design and on-card autos. Can’t go wrong in my book. The gold edges are prne to chipping (See photo) but I’m not too concerned. I do wish Frank had spent some more time on this particular card, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Frank White is often counted amongst the Royals greats, though he enjoyed little popularity outside of KC. He was overshadowed by teammate George Brett (though comparing everyone to George Brett is a little silly) but his retired number sits right on the Kauffman wall next to Brett’s (as does his statue outside). He never hit .300 and his OPS dipped into the .600s even in some of his better years, but he was a 5 time All Star and 8 time Gold Glover (one fewer than Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg). White, eligible for the HOF in 1996, garnered only 3.8% of the votes and was not on the next year’s ballot.

If you live in KC, this is an outrage. If you don’t, it’s simply a matter of numbers. A career AVG of .255 and just over 2000 hits are decent numbers, but let me put on my Cub fan hat here and remind you that Mark Grace had nearly 2500 hits and 13 more homers in his career. Not to mention that Grace’s career OPS of .825 is .150 points higher than White’s. Yet, Grace only got 4.1% of the votes in his one year of HOF eligibility.

Sure, Grace never won a World Series and had fewer Gold Gloves, but let’s look at Frank White’s top comparable who was inducted into the HOF: Bill Mazeroski. Maz and White’s offensive numbers are nearly identical. Defensively, Maz has just one more Gold Glove and 2 more AS appearances. Someone explain to me where the difference is- I’m not a stat-head!

I’m not going to turn this into a weird “HOF Voting Is Subjective!” debate, but it is curious. As it stands, Frank White is a Royals legend and I’m happy to have a couple autos of his in my collection. Incidentally, Fleer did a buyback program on the base cards from this product a few years later and reinserted them as numbered autos. Especially silly, considering the actual auto above is basically just the base card with an auto on it to begin with. Way less cool than an ’88 Donruss auto. Just sayin’.

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