(June 27, 2019) — Two of the biggest names in York’s baseball history will lead the Atlantic League All-Stars onto the field as honorary team captains when they take the field in York on July 10. Brooks Robinson, who began his storied career in York, and Andy Etchebarren, Robinson’s Orioles teammate who finished his career in York, will accompany the Freedom and Liberty Division managers to home plate for the ceremonial exchange of lineup cards before the game.
Both men’s names appear on the fascia of PeoplesBank Park aside their retired jersey numbers: 5 for Robinson, and 8 for Etchebarren.
“It’s a thrill to be able to welcome Brooks and Andy back to the field at PeoplesBank Park,” said York Revolution President Eric Menzer. “Both men are class acts who have given Yorkers a ton of baseball thrills over the years, and both have given back to our fans and the York community. It’s going to be a special moment when they walk out there to home plate.”
Robinson began his professional career as a York White Rose in 1955 as a second baseman. After about 50 games, his manager moved him to third base; he thought Brooks was better suited there. In 95 games with York, Brooks hit 11 home runs with a batting average of .331, before being called up to the Orioles for the final week of the 1955 season.
For 23 years, Robinson dazzled fans on the field. In total, the 18-time All-Star and winner of a record 16 consecutive Gold Glove Awards led the Orioles to six post-seasons, including two World Series Championships. In 1966, he won the All-Star Game MVP Award despite the American League losing the game, and in 1970, he was named the World Series MVP after batting .429 with two home runs and six RBI.
Robinson helped establish the York Revolution in 2007, and his statue appears on the namesake Brooks Robinson Plaza in front of PeoplesBank Park. He remains a beloved figure in the York sports community, and the team’s annual golf tournament, the Brooks Robinson Golf Classic, raises money for the York City Little League and the York YMCA’s scholarship program that enables low-income youth to participate in its programs.
Etchebarren also passed through York as a minor league player but on the opposing team as a member of the Elmira Pioneers. He was a catcher and teammate of Robinson’s as an Oriole from 1966 until 1975, playing a role on the 1966 World Series Championship team and playing a key role for Baltimore's three consecutive World Series teams from 1969 through 1971. After playing in 948 Major League games, Etch turned his attention to Major League and Minor League coaching.
His contribution to York’s baseball history came through his role as manager of the Revolution from 2009 through 2012, during which he led the team to its first two Atlantic League championships, 2010 and 2011.
Etchebarren inherited a last-place team on August 14, 2009. By the end of the following season, he had transformed the Revs into the league champions. The following year, he led York back to the championship and brought home the team’s second trophy after finishing 73-51 in the regular season. That earned Etch the first Manager of the Year honors garnered by a Revolution skipper.