Memorial Stadium, now Bob Hoffman Stadium, built to keep professional baseball in York

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The fields around York, Pa.’s, Veterans Memorial Park were used for farming in this mid-20th-century photograph. (Below, see photo of that area today.) Also of interest: Brooks Robinson – and stories about his York, Pa., pro debut – enduring and Great Balls of Fire, York’s Memorial Park to spin back to 50s and Opportunities in York County to feed your sense of discovery.

In its earliest days, the York White Roses played at Memorial Stadium in Spring Garden Memorial Park. That’s where Brooks Robinson made his professional debut.
Today, the sports complex is known as Bob Hoffman Stadium at Veterans Memorial Park.
But whatever its name, the local chamber of commerce accepted credit, in the booklet “The Record of the York Chamber of Commerce in the First Half of the Twentieth Century,” with helping to keep organized baseball in York… .


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A similar scene from of that area of York/Spring Garden Township 50 years later. Bob Hoffman Stadium is at top center and the ice skating rink is at the top, right. Penn State York is across the ballfields from the stadium.
The facilities at the West York Field where the team played were not sufficient, the booklet said, and better facilities were needed or else the White Roses would take the field in another town.
One would guess with a different name, the White Roses of the White Rose City not being particularly portable.
The federal government owned what was then known as the 110-acre Stauffer Tract. The feds had purchased it for semi-permanent defense housing during World War II.
Six unnamed citizens made a down payment on the tract, and the community raised $40,000 to complete the purchase.
“It was, of course, more land than needed for a baseball park, so the whole tract was dedicated to the purchase of an all-purpose recreation area to be developed by interested groups when and if they developed interest,” the chamber explained in a bit convoluted fashion.
Those interested groups, indeed, came forward.
When the booklet was published in 1951, the Rotary Club of York was developing 17 wooded acres of the tract as a picnic ground and Boy Scout training area. That would become known as Baumgartner’s Woods or Rotary Woods.
Later, a soap box derby track, additional ballfields, an ice skating rink and other attractions filled in those open fields.
And 50 years later, proponents of baseball in York looked at renovating Bob Hoffman Stadium into a home field for the York Revolution of the Atlantic League.
The new stadium, shiny and bright, eventually was developed near the Codorus closer to York’s downtown.
Hoffman Stadium comes to life today come baseball and softball tournament time. Its role in keeping the White Roses in the White City is seldom remembered.
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
Other posts with aerial views:
Just try to resist studying this memory-tugging photograph
Just try to resist studying this memory-tugging Sears photograph, Part II
Just try to resist this memory-tugging photo of North York’s White Oak Park
Just try to resist this memory-tugging aerial photograph of York Whitehull Airport and York Valley Inn and Playland and …
So, can you find long-gone Springwood Park in this aerial photograph?
Camp Security area of Springettsbury Township from the air
Columbia-Wrightsville Susquehanna River bridges from the air.
Just try to resist this memory-tugging photograph of northwest York, Pa.
Just try to resist this memory-tugging aerial photograph of York’s Roosevelt Avenue Airport.
Memorial Stadium, now Bob Hoffman Stadium, built to keep professional baseball in York.
“The Record of the York Chamber of Commerce in the First Half of the Twentieth Century,” the source of the photograph for this post, courtesy of Joe Stein.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.

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