York Town Square

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Add another photograph to the list of images that tell York County, Pa.’s story

Former York, Pa., mayors Charlie Robertson, left, and John Brenner, right, throw out the first pitches with current Mayor Kim Bracey during the York Revolution season opening game at Sovereign Bank Stadium on April 29, 2011. The trio were invited to the ceremony because of their roles in bringing professional baseball back to York. Background posts: Images capture hope for racial harmony and First pitch could break link with York race riots and Helping to sort it out in York, Part III: We must not forget lessons from 1860s, 1960s.
The photo of the three mayors throwing out the first pitch at the recent York Revs season opener is now a part of the gallery of iconic photos I’ve assembled on this blog. (See below.)
They are photos and graphics that bear layers of meaning about the past, present and future.
But the question here is whether the three should have been gathered on the mound in the first place… .

As the York Daily Record/Sunday News said in an editorial (5/1/11) – “Poor Pitch by Revs” – John Brenner should have been the honoree. His administration made baseball happen. Add in present Mayor Kim Bracey, a member of the Brenner administration – and you’re fine.
But Charlie Robertson?
He had an idea for baseball early in his administration in the 1990s, but it gained little traction until Brenner made it so.
You might remember that Robertson had the idea for a roller coaster at Memorial Park, too. All politicians have ideas. That’s why they’re elected.
But here’s the deeper point.
Charlie Robertson should have declined walking to the mound, given his actions as a police officer in the York race riots of 1969.
Bad decisions can – and should – merit forgiveness. But bad decisions have consequences and the forfeiture of certain privileges, honors and other ops in the spotlight.
Just think about this for a second. It would not occur to most people that they would emerge into the center of an important event that points to York’s future after considering their involvement in a community-wide debacle 40 years before.
The first pitch honor was one of those Charlie Robertson should have waived for the good of the community and the people his actions affected.
And he should not be offered another opportunity – either as a starter or in relief.
Also of interest:
How professional baseball came back to York, Pa. after leaving the field in 1969.
York Charrette or charade?
Iconic images
Posts in this series:
400 years ago, John Smith explored Chesapeake Bay – 1/31 iconic images
Declaration signer James Smith tops York County patriot list – 2/31 iconic images
Going to market a longtime York County pastime – 3/31 iconic images
William C. Goodridge: From slavery to success story – 4/31 iconic images

Rebs’ short York visit creates long memories – 5/31 iconic images
Artist Horace Bonham captured everyday life – 6/31 iconic images
York County farm vs. factory tension relieved in overnight raid – 7/31 iconic images
York County stood firmly behind Allies on all fronts in WW II – 8/31 iconic images
Downtown thrived in post-WW II York – 9/31 iconic images
After WWII success, Farquhar sells assets to out-of-town outfit – 10/31 iconic images.
Sears, York County Shopping Center in the middle of things – 11/31 iconic images
Three Mile Island emergency indelibly written into memories – 12/2 iconic images.
People of varying religious groups founded York County – 13/31 iconic images
President Reagan: ‘Harley is back and standing tall’ – 14/31 iconic images
York’s mayor: ‘We are no longer unprotected’ – 15/31 iconic images
Grange Hall represented past way of York County life – 16/31 iconic images.
York County Honors Choir product of proud moment – 17/31 iconic images.
Meeting of riot victims brought hope for racial accord – 18/31 iconic images.
Property rights foundational factor in Lauxmont dispute – 19/31 iconic images.
New baseball diamond serves as York cornerstone – 20/31 iconic images
Season 2 of York’s campaign to come back – 21-23 of 31 iconic images
York on knees as its men storm Normandy beaches – 24-25 of 31 iconic images
One image illustrates two long-neglected subjects in York area – 26-27 of 31 iconic images
Images explain changes in York County factories, farms – 28-29 of 31 iconic images
York County still home to unvarnished beauty – 30/31 iconic images
Latinos most recent migrant group to call York County home – 31/31 iconic images
For additional iconic photos of York County, see this blog’s iconic photo category.
To see the full series of iconic photos in a special York Daily Record/Sunday News publication, click here.
All York Town Square posts from the start. Then use “find” function on browser to search for keywords.
– Of course, you can always search for York Town Square posts on Google. For example, when you search for yorktownsquare and York race riots, you get this.
*York Revs photograph courtesy of the York Daily Record/Sunday News