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Waynesboro's White gives up his dream

July 26, 2006|by MARK KELLER

Waynesboro, Pa., native Matt White, who received the largest signing bonus in Major League Baseball history, announced his retirement on Sunday.

White, a right-handed pitcher from Waynesboro Area Senior High School, was selected by the San Francisco Giants with the seventh overall pick in the 1996 draft, but he became a free agent when the Giants did not tender a contract in the time allotted by Major League Baseball. He signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and received a $10.2 million bonus.

White appeared to be on a fast track to the majors, reaching the Triple-A Durham Bulls in 2000. But he injured his throwing shoulder while with the U.S. Olympic team that year and never regained his once dominant form.

White last pitched in a live game in 2003 for Double-A Orlando. This season, he was on the roster of the Montgomery (Ala.) Biscuits, the Devil Rays' current Double-A affiliate, hoping to work his way back for a shot at the majors.

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He ends his career with 122 appearances in the minors and a 35-47 record.

White, who turns 28 next month, won numerous national awards in high school and was the USA Today National Player of the Year as a senior. His starts at Waynesboro were events, drawing huge crowds and dozens of pro scouts.

White lives in the Atlanta area with his wife, Kristin.

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