Fred White, the longtime broadcaster for the Kansas City Royals, passed away on Wednesday (May 15), just one day after officially announcing his retirement. He was 76.
White died of complications from melanoma, The Kansas City Star reports. The broadcaster, who had a 40-year association with the team, had been sick for some time, with word leaking in recent days that the cancer has accelerated at a frightening rate.
“It’s kind of stunning,” his longtime broadcast partner Denny Matthews told the publication. “I talked to him two weeks ago. I was in his office, and nothing looked out of the ordinary or sounded out of the ordinary. He didn’t say anything out of the ordinary. Dang … Somebody has a heart attack or something, well, you can kind of comprehend that. It’s kind of hard to get your hands around this.”
White joined the Royals’ broadcast team in 1973 and teamed with Matthews in 1975, with the two serving at the team’s primary voices though 1998. More recently, White acted as the club’s director of broadcast services and Royals alumni.
A team statement said the longtime broadcaster passed while in hospice care. His family has requested privacy as they deal with their grief.