Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Who's the Wealthiest Dodger?

Matt White (Dodgers) Billionaire?
VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Who's the wealthiest Dodger?
Jason Schmidt? Jeff Kent? Frank McCourt?

It could be Matt White.


White is a 29-year-old left-handed journeyman pitcher in camp on a Minor League contract who's pitched a total of 9 2/3 Major League innings in nine professional seasons and he's sitting on a gold mine.

Actually, it's a rock quarry.

Four years ago, White bought a 50-acre piece of property in Massachusetts from his ailing Aunt Josephine, who was going into a nursing home. He planned to build a house on the property, but discovered it to be absolutely covered with rock. A geologist determined the property was loaded with mica schist, a slate-like shiny metamorphic stone used for patio decks and other construction.

"I never built the house and instead started selling the rock," said White, whose father runs the business. "It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The geologist said I've got 24 million tons of it and it sells for $100 a ton."

So, according to White's math, he's sitting on a $2.4 billion mountain of rock. That's billion, with a "B." The property cost him $50,000.

He could parlay the fortunate real estate play into buying, say, a baseball club. It's been known to happen. So, why still bother with baseball on the player end, especially with the likelihood of cracking the Dodgers' deep Major League pitching staff no better than remote?

"This is fun," said White, who has played with Boston, Seattle and Washington. "I wouldn't retire. What else am I going to do?"

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