Trout
Trout

When George Trout Sr. learned he'd be the next Martin Library Honors Committee honoree, he hesitated.

"My first thought was, 'I don't think I fit the mold' ... I was just surprised to be considered," he said.

Once or twice a year, the committee names an honoree who serves both libraries and the community, said Georg Sheets, planned giving officer for York County Libraries.

Trout, who got his start as a radio broadcaster, is a Renaissance man whom people know from his many forms of community service, he said.

"He's known in some camps as the voice of York County," Sheets said.

Bio: Trout, 85, of Springettsbury Township was born and raised in York.

He was a high school student when he got his start at WORK, and he said when TV stations began cropping up, he started to make appearances and becoming associated with "the voice."

Trout became the voice of the Spring Garden Band, the July 4th Celebration at the York Fairgrounds and the former York County Junior Miss Pageant.

"He did so much emcee work that everyone got to know him," Sheets said. "He's really one of a kind."

Trout continued his involvement in the community by co-founding York Sports Night in 1964, becoming a hospital administrator at Memorial Hospital in 1977 and becoming president of the Rotary Club of York in 1984. He also won the race for county commissioner in 1988 and again in 1992, when he became president commissioner.

In 1992, Trout appointed Trish Calvani head of the York County Library System and increased its budget. He has also served the boards of several nonprofit organizations.

Of all his accomplishments, he said he's most proud of the fact that he was given the opportunity to participate in his community.

He and his wife, Frances, celebrated their 60th anniversary last year. They have six children, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

What a life: Last year, Trout started working with Sheets to write a memoir, and "A Life" was published earlier this year.

The 184-page book details Trout's life — and all the stories that have made him who he is.

It will be available for purchase and autographing during a ceremony honoring him from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Martin Library in York City.

Like a true storyteller, he recalled the time in 1983 when he had Hall of Fame baseball player Ted Williams over for dinner.

As a talent hunter for York Sports Night, he said athletes who came to town for the show welcomed offers of meals at his home, where they wouldn't be hounded by autograph-seekers.

Williams, who is sometimes known for his temper and language, was great — until Trout overheard him talking to his daughters about phone numbers.

"I said, 'Ted, you were always my hero, but you'll never be my son-in-law,'" Trout said.

He said he had 15 other Hall of Famers over to eat, including Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and Cal Ripken, Jr.

Trout retired after 50 years with York Sports Night and was elected to the York Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

He said his advice for young people is to respect and help others — and that success is about working with what you've got.

"Take whatever comes your way, work with it honestly and to the best of your ability, and if you have a little luck involved as well, you could have some success," he said. "And I was lucky to have it in my hometown"

— Reach Mollie Durkin at mdurkin@yorkdisppatch.com

The program on Sunday

The public is welcome to attend a ceremony celebrating George Trout Sr.'s accomplishments.

The event, hosted by members of the Martin Honors Committee, will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Martin Library in York City.

If attendees would like to contribute to the library, they can donate to an endowment fund that has been established in Trout's name. Contributions will purchase library materials in his name as a way to honor his service.

Trout's memoir, "A Life," will be available for purchase and autograph during the event.

Featured speakers during the program include Michael Summers, John Klinedinst, Thomas E. Kern, George "Skip" Lehmann, Allan Dameshek and Tom Dasher.