Professional baseball crowns in York County? Better than the Chicago Cubs

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It’s baseball championship time, and this clipping from The (York, Pa.) Gazette and Daily from Thursday, Aug. 28, 1969, tells the story of the York Pirates Eastern League championship in 1969. The lead-in to the caption of the team picture stated: “First Pro Baseball Champs since 1925.” (See additional photo from newspaper below.) Also of interest: All York Revs posts from the start and Grass vs. artificial: National turf wars escalated in York and York Revs could help teach about American Revs and York Revolution most recent addition to lengthy local professional baseball timeline.
A lot has been made about the home team winning the Atlantic League baseball championship this year. The York Revolution won their first title since they entered the minor leagues again four seasons.
The last time a pro team played here was in 1969, when the York Pirates won the Eastern League pennant with a doubleheader win over Reading at Memorial Stadium.
Lost in some of the wonderful news about York County’s team was the fact that that 1969 team ended a championship drought extending back to 1925… .


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The caption for this photograph from this Sept. 4, 1969, Gazette and Daily states: “York mayor John L. Snyder hands a merit award and city council resolution, both commending the York Pirates for winning the Eastern Baseball league pennant, to York team manager Joe Morgan, third from left, during ceremonies yesterday. Also presenting the York squad, which brought York its first baseball pennant since 1925, are third baseman Gene Clines, left, and outfielder Dave Arrington, right.” Among the players on the team, Clines and teammate Gene Garber went on to have the most success in Major League baseball. Joe Morgan went on to managerial success with the Boston Red Sox in the late 1980s and early 1991.
That means York has played host to three championship teams since 1925 – better than the hapless Chicago Cubs, who haven’t won a World Series since 1908. But York baseball is a bit behind New York baseball, with the Yankees’ 27 championships.
The Gazette and Daily’s coverage of the 1969 championship win stated: “The last time a York baseball team won a pennant was in 1925 when the Frank Dessau-managed White Roses captured the New York-Philadelphia league crown. The Roses that year tied with Williamsport for the flag and then won a best-of-three playoff, three games to one.”
The Pirates – and minor league baseball – left York County after that riot-torn summer. Minor league baseball returned with the new Sovereign Bank in 1997. Four seasons later, York County has another championship.

About Jim McClure

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