Who were most prominent 20th-century sports heroes in York and Adams counties?
The York Sunday New rated Bob Hoffman, founder of York Barbell, at the top of the top 10 York and Adams counties sports figures in the 20th century. Background posts: Lineup full of stars with York County links, Author muscles way into York’s body building world and Richard Nixon’s visit to his namesake park sparks memories.
The York Daily Record/Sunday News publication of the 25 most influential people in York County sparked much community discussion.
The same was true in 2000 when the York Sunday News issued its list of the 20th-century’s top 10 sports people.
Bob Hoffman headed the list on the strength of his role as five-time Olympic weightlifting coach and his founding of York Barbell.
His selection – and others in the top 10 – brought accord and also disagreement… .
Chris Doleman is not only in William Penn Hall of Fame but also has been named to the NFL Hall of Fame.
One letter writer thought a criterion was that those on the list were born and raised in York County. Hoffman was a native of Georgia, but lived most of his adult life in York County.
Another fan wrote: “How could you leave off (former professional baseball player) Vic Wertz?”
Here is the rest of the list, as published in the York Sunday News on Jan. 2, 2000:
– Loretta Claiborne, Special Olympian and recipient of many honors, including the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 1996 Espy Awards on ESPN.
– Eddie Plank, the only resident of York and Adams County to make it to the baseball Hall of Fame.
– Chris Doleman, longtime Minnesota Vikings’ lineman who ended his career near the top of the NFL’s all-time quarterback sack list.
– Scott Strausbaugh, listed as the only York County native to win an Olympic gold medal in the two-man canoe slalom in 1992.
– Earl Shaffer, the first solo hiker of the Appalachian Trail, in 1948.
– Lawrence Sheppard and Hanover Shoe Farms , the driving force behind numerous Standardbred harness racing champions and stakes winners.
– Lefty George, a five-decade minor and major league baseball player who won 327 games from 1906 to 1944.
– Ron Wolf, a New Freedom native and general manager of the Packers 1997 Super Bowl team.
– Hinkey Haines, played for New York teams – the Giants and Yankees – that won championship in both football and baseball.