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‘That’s a stupid question,’ Curly replied. Brooksie played second base for York White Roses.


A Life magazine artist captured the York White Roses in this 1941 painting. This scene is probably at West York’s Martin-Parry field. After World War II, the York White Roses played its games at Memorial Stadium, constructed to honor those who died and served in the war. It was at Memorial Stadium that Brooks Robinson made his major league debut on June 3, 1955. Also of interest: American pastime vs. American dream playing out in York, Pa. and From Penn Park field to Sovereign Bank Stadium, York-area baseball fans have heard ‘Play ball’ and Memorial Stadium, now Bob Hoffman Stadium, built to keep professional baseball in York.

I took a swing in a York Sunday News column about the night that Brooks Robinson broke into professional baseball. That was the night that P.A. announcer George Trout got his name wrong and the newspapers had him as second baseman “Bob” Robinson for the next two weeks.
But I particularly like the anecdote from shortstop Curly Holtzapple, the other half of the double play duo with Brooks, that I included with my column:

The story of Brooks Robinson’s professional baseball debut with the York White Roses at second base has been told and retold.
The best anecdote of his first game came some years ago when The Gazette and Daily’s Jim Hubley asked former White Roses shortstop Curly Holtzapple if he was aware he was playing with a future Hall of Fame third baseman that night in 1955.
“That’s a stupid question,” Holtzapple replied. “How could I? The guy was playing second.”

Also of interest:
Sol and Brooks lead long York County sports parade.
Brooks Robinson – and stories about his York, Pa., pro debut – enduring.
York has Brooks Robinson statue. Where’s Baltimore’s?.
Butch Wynegar ranks bright among York’s sports stars
Season 2 of York’s campaign to come back
Batter up, pass the hot dog: York relishes the Revolution