SI Vault
 
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
June 08, 1964
In 1958, when Mike White was 19, he played in an Arizona intrasquad game with the Cleveland Indians, his first game as a pro. Mike, a shortstop, was completing a double play when the runner slid into second and dropped him hard. As White lay in the dirt, his father Jo Jo, once an outfielder with Detroit but then a Cleveland scout, sprinted from the dugout to learn that his boy had suffered a complete unilateral dislocation of the left knee. The injury was so serious doctors doubted if he would ever walk again. But Mike did walk again, run again and, eventually, play baseball again. This year, after five seasons in the minors, Mike White made the majors with Houston, and soon he was in the starting lineup. After driving home six runs in a doubleheader, he was placed fourth in the Houston batting order, although at 5 feet 8 and 160 pounds he hardly looked like a cleanup hitter. But Mike kept hitting and last week, in his first game in Milwaukee, where his father is now coaching, Mike got four hits in a row to raise his batting average to .393. For the week he hit .391, accounted for eight of his team's 20 runs and played second base, third base, left field, center field and right field. His Houston teammates kid him now, saying that he can no longer ride home after the game in Nellie Fox's Chevy because "cleanup hitters ride in Cadillacs." Mike White just laughs. Cars can wait. He is happy enough to be able to run around the bases again.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
June 08, 1964

Player Of The Week

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

In 1958, when Mike White was 19, he played in an Arizona intrasquad game with the Cleveland Indians, his first game as a pro. Mike, a shortstop, was completing a double play when the runner slid into second and dropped him hard. As White lay in the dirt, his father Jo Jo, once an outfielder with Detroit but then a Cleveland scout, sprinted from the dugout to learn that his boy had suffered a complete unilateral dislocation of the left knee. The injury was so serious doctors doubted if he would ever walk again. But Mike did walk again, run again and, eventually, play baseball again. This year, after five seasons in the minors, Mike White made the majors with Houston, and soon he was in the starting lineup. After driving home six runs in a doubleheader, he was placed fourth in the Houston batting order, although at 5 feet 8 and 160 pounds he hardly looked like a cleanup hitter. But Mike kept hitting and last week, in his first game in Milwaukee, where his father is now coaching, Mike got four hits in a row to raise his batting average to .393. For the week he hit .391, accounted for eight of his team's 20 runs and played second base, third base, left field, center field and right field. His Houston teammates kid him now, saying that he can no longer ride home after the game in Nellie Fox's Chevy because "cleanup hitters ride in Cadillacs." Mike White just laughs. Cars can wait. He is happy enough to be able to run around the bases again.

1