Vancouver, B.C., has beauty, but York, Pa., has a life-sized Brooks Robinson statue
Baseball great Brooks Robinson is seen in his York (Pa.) White Roses uniform in 1955. His statue can be seen everyday in Brooks Robinson Plaza at York’s Sovereign Bank Stadium. Background posts: Brooks Robinson – and stories about his York, Pa., pro debut – enduring and York Town Square reader: ‘I thought Vic Wertz had some connection to York?’ and Baseball’s Methuselah played for White Roses.
True or false?
Brooks Robinson broke into professional baseball in York and went to the majors and greatness after a short gig here, never to return to minor league baseball?
The answer is …. .
Everything is true except the last clause about the extent of his minor league baseball career.
David Driver, writing for explorehoward.com, noted in an interesting column that Brooks last played in the minors 50 years ago.
He gave this concise recap of Brooks’ early years:
He began his career in York, Pa., in 1955 and split time between the minors in San Antonio and the Orioles in 1956 and 1957. But the 1959 trip to the minors was different because it came after he had played in 145 games with the Orioles in 1958, when he hit .238. Robinson was 21 when the ’59 season began.
At first, his assignment to Vancouver, B.C., for more seasoning wasn’t welcome, Brooks told Driver.
But today, he says: “It was the best thing that happened to me … .”
He regained his stroke in Vancouver and returned to the O’s later in the season, as Driver spells out at the end of this column:
Robinson ended up hitting .284 in 88 games for the Birds in ’59 . In 1960, he hit .294 with 14 homers and 88 RBIs in 595 at-bats over 152 games. Robinson, now 72, was in the big leagues to stay, and you probably know the rest of the story.
Driver noted that baseball cards of Robinson and other Orioles are posted on a wall near Vancouver’s home clubhouse to mark that city’s two years as a Baltimore farm club in 1959-60.
Vancouver may be beautiful, but York has outdone that Canadian city in honoring Brooks. Instead of tacking up cards, York has posted a statue of the third baseman at Brooks Robinson Plaza leading to Sovereign Bank Stadium.
To read David Driver’s column, click here.
To see other Big League news and views, visit Pat Abdalla’s Southpaw blog.