From BR Bullpen
Gary White (Superman, White Knight)
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 205 lb.
Gary White was one of the top catchers in Australian history and had what Australian baseball historians Flintoff & Dunn called perhaps the most significant hit in Australian baseball history.
White played for the New South Wales Patriots in the Claxton Shield from 1986-1988. He attended a high school in Detroit, MI for two years, after which he was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies and scout Eddie Bockman. White split 1987 between the Utica Blue Sox (.267/~.342/.371) and the Clearwater Phillies (6 for 37, 2 BB). In 1988, Gary played for the Spartanburg Phillies (.226/.267/.363, 31 RBI in 190 AB) and Clearwater (.148/.170/.163 i 46 games).
Leaving Organized Baseball behind, White returned to Australia. He hit .356/.383/.496 for the Perth Heat in the 1990-1991 Australian Baseball League. In the 1991-1992 ABL, Gary slipped to .255/.278/.414 while switching to Sydney. He hit .268/.331/.406 in the 1992-1993 season. White batted .316/.356/.559 with 19 doubles in 54 games in 1993-1994. He was named the second team All-Star DH after Tony Adamson.
White hit .308/.376/.533 in the 1994-1995 ABL. He then turned his game up to another level at age 28, batting .357/.414/.805 in 1995-1996. He hit 17 home runs and drove in 49 runs in 44 games. He was 7th in the ABL in average, second to Adam Burton in slugging (.008 behind and over .100 ahead of the #3 player) and tied Craig Watts for the home run and RBI leads. He was named the league All-Star catcher and MVP. In the postseason, he hit key home runs in both playoff games to give his team the title and earn him championship series MVP honors as well.
In 1996-1997, Gary kept it up with a .358/.419/.618 batting line. He was 5th in the league in average, third in hits (73) and tied for 5th in home runs (14). He was again picked as the first-team All-Star catcher. In the 1997 Intercontinental Cup, White helped Australia win Bronze by hitting .351/.368/.622, beating out Josh Bard, Juan Manrique and others as the All-Star catcher in the event.
White hit .293/.335/.541 in an "off-year" for the 1997-1998 Sydney Storm, with 15 home runs. He also was error-free at catcher. He made his third straight ABL All-Star team at catcher but did not finish among the top 5 in the league in anything
White faced a major challenge that off-season when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He missed the early part of the 1998-1999 Australian Baseball League season but came back to hit .366/.405/.572. He was second in average, .006 behind Burton. He made his fourth consecutive All-Star team as the first-team backstop and also won the Gold Glove Award as the best defensive player in all of Australia. He hit .444 in the postseason.
In the 1999 Intercontinental Cup, White went just 1 for 8 - but his hit was a major one. In the 11th inning of the Gold Medal game, he was called on to pinch-hit for Michael Moyle, the Cup All-Star DH that year, against Carlos Yanes with two on and two out. White hit a fly to center that Yasser Gomez lost in the sun, letting Peter Vogler score the winning run. Australian baseball historians Flintoff & Dunn wrote that "There may not have been a more significant hit in Australian Baseball history."
In the history of the Australian Baseball League, White ranked among the all-time leaders in average (.319, 5th), at-bats (1,497, 2nd), runs (234, 11th), hits (478, second to Andrew Scott), RBI (282, 4th), doubles (100, tied for second with Ronny Johnson), home runs (82, third behind Johnson and Brendan Kingman), total bases (828, third) and slugging (.553, 9th). He had batted .350 in the playoffs as well.
White hit .302/.392/.381 for New South Wales in the first year of the International Baseball League of Australia. He was chosen as the second-team All-Star catcher.
In the 2000 Olympics, White was 1 for 4 with a walk as the third-team catcher behind Dave Nilsson and Moyle. He was a miserable 0 for 19 in the 2002 Claxton Shield as the 34-year-old was slowing down. In 2003, he hit .217/.308/.261 and was 3 for 35 in the next two Claxton Shields before retiring. He had hit .308 and slugged .526 in his Australian career.
In 2009, he was inducted into the Baseball Australia Hall of Fame.