Letter: Rolfe was from Penacook
The Monitor’s April 25 editorial, “Are you smarter than Scott Brown?” reported, “The Concord park named for a New York Yankee great: Rolfe Park, named for Red Rolfe.” This is not entirely accurate.
Yes, Robert “Red” Rolfe was one of the greats! He was the starting third baseman on the New York Yankees “Bronx Bombers,” playing alongside legendary players Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Bill Dickey, Lefty Gomez and Red Ruffing. That team took all four World Series in which they appeared, winning 16 games and losing only three in that span. Rolfe played for 10 seasons, retiring in 1942 season. He later went on to manage the Detroit Tigers, and served as Dartmouth College’s athletic director, where their baseball field is named for him.
Though Penacook is noted as a “village” and part of Concord, the Rolfe family history here dates to the 1770s.
There is no evidence that remotely suggests that Red Rolfe is from Concord; he is from Penacook.
Throughout my lifetime I have listened with keen interest to the tales of Red Rolfe’s great play on the field and in a time when ballplayers had to work during the off-season to support their families, Rolfe owned and operated the Texaco on Main Street, which is now Village Street Garage. I lived in the house he grew up in for a number of years, and occasionally visit his grave at Woodlawn Cemetery in Penacook.
I’m proud of my hometown, and though I’m a die-hard Red Sox fan, I think you need to give us this one.
Red Rolfe is from Penacook, and Rolfe Park is in Penacook.
Let’s remember Penacook’s Red Rolfe as more than a trivia question.
KRAIG D. EMERY