This article continues my series about former Florida Marlins players who made an impact on the history of the franchise. Today, let’s focus on Devon White.
White—who since retiring from baseball has used the original spelling of his name, Devon Whyte—was born on December 29, 1962 in Kingston, Jamaica. White played his high school ball in New York and was drafted in the 6th round of the 1981 MLB Draft by the California Angels.
White made his MLB debut on September 2, 1985 with the Angels, but received such limited playing time initially that he still had prospect eligibility entering the 1987 season. That is when White finally got a shot at an everyday starting job and proved to be a home run hitter and RBI machine. He finished 5th in the voting for American League Rookie of the Year and took away plenty of positives from that season.
White’s 24 homers in ‘87 would prove to be his career high, but he added more accolades during his other years with the Angels. He made an All-Star appearance and won 2 Gold Gloves with them.
On December 2, 1990, the California Angels traded away Devon White, Willie Fraser, and Marcus Moore to the Toronto Blue Jays. White already got a taste of the postseason in 1986, but this is where his real October success would begin.
White established himself as a defensive menace in center field, winning the AL Gold Glove every season from 1991-1995. He averaged about 14 home runs and 25 stolen bases per year with Toronto.
White helped the Blue Jays to their franchise’s first World Series title in 1992. Then in 1993, they repeated as champs thanks to his amazing postseason numbers (.373 BA, .429 OBP, .686 SLG, 1.115 OPS, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 19 H).
The next chapter of Devon White’s career began when he entered free agency after the 1995 season and signed a 3-year contract with your Florida Marlins.
The 1996 season was like any other for White, putting up pretty much the same offensive stats that he has had with his previous team.
In 1997, White was limited to only 74 regular season games, but he was available when the Marlins needed him most. The 34-year-old played CF for them on the way to the World Series.
After the 1997 World Series win, Devon White was one of the many players who the Marlins traded away to cut costs. He was shipped to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Jesús Martinez. White actually enjoyed a nice bounce back with that expansion team and made the All-Star roster for the final time (.279 BA, .335 OBP, .456 SLG, .792 OPS, 22 HR, 85 RBI, 157 H).
White called it quits at age 38 after playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers.
Although Devin White had a short stint with the Marlins, he was part of a special 1997 season and made a big difference with his defense.