Brooks Robinson – and stories about his York, Pa., pro debut – enduring
Brooks Robinson’s statue is the key part of his namesake plaza at Sovereign Bank Stadium. The Hall-of-Fame third-basemen, who started his career at second base for the York White Roses, has fought back from a bout with cancer. Background posts: York has Brooks Robinson statue. Where’s Baltimore’s? and Revs will easily pass 1969’s full-season attendance stats and Batter up, pass the hot dog: York relishes the Revolution.
Brooks Robinson’s revelation this week that he had been diagnosed – and now cleared – of prostate cancer brings to mind two stories about when Brooksie played with the York White Roses.
Brooks, of course, started his professional career in York in 1955.
And the story has often been told about how public address announcer George Trout introduced him as “Bob” Robinson.
Although Trout soon was informed of his mistake, the two local newspapers kept up the “Bob” Robinson routine for a good two weeks… .
The Gazette and Daily, for example, finally reported: “York southpaw Paul Kelecava … was staked to a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning when Brooks Robinson tripled home two runs with two away.”
That’s how Brooks was introduced to newspaper readers.
No explanation for the name change offered.
But the second story is even better.
Brooks Robinson’s started his pro career at second base for the White Roses.
So 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.”
We’re glad these stories – and Brooks Robinson – are enduring.
To read a detailed post about Brooks early days in professional ball, click here.