Feb 12, 2013

The War of the Roses

Here's a little baseball fact-nugget that I gleaned from Bill Veeck* today on Twitter.

Back around the turn of the last century, a bitter rivalry began between two Pennsylvania minor-league baseball teams named after historic cities in Great Britain. York and Lancaster. The York White Roses had been around in some form or another since 1884. In 1904, they joined the Tri-State League and changed their name to the York Penn Parks. Which is horrible name. So in 1905 they changed it back to the White Roses.

One of their rivals in that league at that time was the Lancaster Maroons. And prior to the 1906 season, the Maroons changed their name to the Red Roses. Just to piss off their rivals from York, or so it would seem. The manager of the White Roses immediately denounced the name change as an insult and a copycat maneuver. He also predicted they would finish last in that league in the upcoming season.

As things happen, the two teams met each other in the season opener in 1906 and the upstart Red Roses beat the White Roses by a score of 9-6. An even more bitter rivalry ensued.

The two teams moved around a bunch of times over the years. York moved to Atlantic City for a while, and then to Lancaster where they oddly called themselves the Red Roses during the middle of the 1914 season. How the hell does that happen?

Both teams (same team?) folded after the 1914 season, but they both returned later on. The York White Roses joined the NY-Penn League from 1923-1936, went dormant for a few years because of the Great Depression, joined the Interstate League in 1943, the Piedmont League in 1953 and the Eastern League in 1958 until calling it quits in 1969.  The Red Roses were dormant until 1940 when they joined the Interstate League. Then the Piedmont League and the Eastern League until 1962. All the while playing their other half of the classic British war on the baseball diamond.

Baseball's own War of the Roses. A rivalry that kinda exists to this day between the Revolution of York and the Barnstormers of Lancaster. Eh...I prefer the old nicknames.

Pitchers and catchers reported today. I'll take all the baseball content I can handle, frankly.

*Not really Bill Veeck. He's dead, ya know.


RW said...


I am beside myself waiting for baseball to start up again my God.

Hope you intend on running that fantasy thing again this year. If you do - here's one player (arm waves)

Kevin McKeever said...

Ah, yes. The time when even my Mets are in a tie for first.

Verdant Earl said...

RW - Yeah, I need to shit or get off the pot with getting that league going again this year. I had a bunch of ideas about potential changes. I'll crank something out in the next week or so.

Uncool - I was rooting for them every 5th day last year when Dickey pitched. This year...I'm just gonna ignore them altogether.

Paticus said...

Ignoring the Mighty Mets this season will be a mistake...A mistake, I tells ya!!

Verdant Earl said...

Paticus - You're right, of course. Everyone needs a little pathetic comedy in their lives.

RW said...

That's what I use the Cubs for.

Verdant Earl said...

RW - :) Well played.