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Remembering 2012: Former White Rose Dick Bosman reflects on time in York

It may be the slowest time of the year for Revolution news, but we still have plenty to post here in case you missed it during the season.  As we did last year, we’ll be posting a different column at the beginning of each week from the past season of the York Revolutionary Times in case you missed an issue at the ballpark. 

Times Change…White Roses to Devil Rays
A 50-year veteran of the game, Dick Bosman has seen Minor League Baseball transform and still has fond memories of his time in York.

By Carrie Wood

The impact the White Roses had on York is obvious just by looking around Sovereign Bank Stadium. From the jersey that the Brooks Robinson statue on the plaza sports to a multitude of team photos on display on the suite level, it’s clear that the former Piedmont, Tri-State, Keystone, New York-Penn & Eastern League team is still fondly remembered.

Dick Bosman pitched for the White Roses during all of the 1965 and parts of the 1966 season, when the team was affiliated with the Washington Senators. The Double-A franchise is where he spent most of this time in the minors, and he recalls his experiences in York fondly.

“I think I remember, more than anything else, how friendly the people there were. They were just really good baseball fans and really nice people,” he said. “I spent a year and a half there, and it was a real nice community there.”

Bosman would go on to pitch for the Senators, Rangers, Indians and Athletics throughout his career. In 1969 he was the American League ERA champion at  2.19 and he started the final game that the Washington Senators played at RFK Stadium before the team left for Texas. On July 19, 1974 he pitched a no-hitter for the Indians against Oakland.

But before any of those career highlights, he was in York. During his time playing for the White Roses, Bosman went 14-13 with a 3.53 ERA and 164 strikeouts. Bosman said that during his short stint there, he was able to make the most of the minor league conditions that existed at the time.

“That was my second full professional season. I didn’t have a whole lot to compare it to. The clubhouse was small and the field conditions probably weren’t the best, but we were happy to be there and happy to play. It was Double-A baseball and the Eastern League was a tough league. Casey Cox was there and several other guys who got to the big leagues too and it was good for what it was,” he said. “Some of these palaces these kids play in today on their way to the big leagues are just magnificent compared to what was around back then.”

Some of Bosman’s more vivid memories of his time in York regard the team bus.

“In those days you weren’t riding around in these luxury liners that these guys have today, either. The bus didn’t have air conditioning or anything like that. One of the buses we had broke down on the highway, and I had to help fix it. Fortunately I had enough mechanical knowledge to help fix it,” he said. “And of course, the next trip it broke down again and we had to do it all over again.”

As the Senators were the parent club of the team for a number of years in the 1960’s, fans had a better opportunity to see potential Major Leaguers in York than they would where the Triple-A team was – Hawaii.  Washington couldn’t afford to fly players back and forth all the way across the country at that time; not to mention the fact that sometimes, players in Hawaii simply didn’t want to leave the beaches.

“I was told at spring training my second year there that if I had a good 30 days in York, I’d get sent to the big leagues,” Bosman said. “Well, I had a good 30 days, and I got sent to the big leagues, but that didn’t last and I got ended up going back. Because it was close to Washington, that’s part of the reason why they sent their prospects to York instead of Hawaii. If you got sent to Triple-A Hawaii, you pretty much knew you weren’t going to get brought up until the end of the season.”

Bosman has been a coach in the Tampa Bay system since 2002 and oversees the entire minor league pitching operation for the Rays. Because of the amount of travel involved in spring training and to each of the organization’s affiliates, he has yet to make a return to York to see the Revolution, but he knows as well as anyone the impact that a minor league club can have on a city.

“If you have an energetic owner in there that can keep the crowd involved in the game and get in the community, the team will do well. The players are all, for the most part, good kids that are willing to go out and get in the community,” he said. “There are baseball fans everywhere.”

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