New photos of Jackie Robinson with the Montreal Royals

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I purchased this great photo of Jackie Robinson with the Montreal Royals at a memorabilia store called Mickey’s Place in downtown Cooperstown. It’s licensed by Jackie’s wife Rachel through CMG Worldwide. I hadn’t seen this photo before.

During my trek to Cooperstown two weeks ago, I found two photos of Jackie Robinson with the Montreal Royals that I hadn’t seen before (one above, one below).

This is a photo of Jackie Robinson sliding into second base while he was with the Montreal Royals in 1946. This is on display in the Robinson exhibit in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Sorry for the poor quality of the photo. I took this photo of the display photo with my digital camera.

Here’s also a short bio I wrote about Robinson for the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame website. (Robinson was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991):

Jackie Robinson

Prior to breaking Major League Baseball’s colour barrier in 1947, Jackie Robinson starred at second base for the Montreal Royals, a Brooklyn Dodgers farm team, in 1946. It’s widely believed that Dodgers GM Branch Rickey stationed Robinson in Montreal to ease his young prospect into integrated baseball. Playing his home games in a city with a reputation for racial tolerance provided Robinson with relative tranquility for half the schedule. On the field, Robinson excelled, leading the International League in batting average, walks and runs, and spurring the Royals to their first Junior World Series triumph.

When the Royals clinched the championship at Delorimier Stadium, the fans chanted Robinson’s name and hoisted him on their shoulders. Tears of jubilation spilled from the baseball pioneer’s eyes. He had endured a lot that season. Racism was palpable in International League cities like Syracuse and Baltimore, but the taunts had intensified in Louisville, the city Montreal opposed in the Junior World Series.

After the celebration appeared over, Robinson emerged from the clubhouse, only to have adoring fans chase him down the street, wanting to touch their hero one last time. The scene inspired Pittsburgh Courier correspondent Sam Maltin to write, “It was the first time that a white mob chased a black man down the street, not out of hate, but because of love.” Moved by the affection of Montrealers after the Junior World Series triumph, Robinson remarked, “This is the city for me. This is paradise.” These words have been immortalized on a statue of Robinson that still stands outside of Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.

Robinson was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1962.

5 thoughts on “New photos of Jackie Robinson with the Montreal Royals

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    1. cooperstownersincanada – Kevin Glew is a professional writer based in London, Ontario. His work has been featured on CBC Sports, Sportsnet.ca, MLB.com and Sympatico.ca. He has also written articles for Baseball Digest, Baseball America, The Hockey News, Sports Market Report and the Canadian Baseball Network. He has been involved with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for more than 16 years, including a two-year stint as the museum's acting curator.
      cooperstownersincanada says:

      Thanks, Scott. I’m looking forward to the movie as well. In the preview, there is some footage of Robinson in a Royals uniform, so it will be interesting to see how much they focus on his season in Montreal.

  1. Tom Valcke – Stratford, Ontario – Tom Valcke put his iCASE Baseball Academy as well as his position of Head Coach at George Brown College into hiatus, when Hong Kong brought him there in 2018 to serve as head coach of their Men's Olympic baseball team, where he finished with unprecedented success in the 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia, spiking their WBSC World Ranking from #41 to #28 in just one year under his tutelage. China then scooped up Valcke, as he became the GM and Head Coach of Panda Sport and Culture, a division of the China Olympic Federation, overseeing baseball and softball, and training the national team coaches of baseball and softball, men's and women's teams. Panda Sport and Culture is based in Zhongshan, China's nationally recognized "#1 Baseball City," located on the southeast tip of China, and has a climate much like Florida. On his own initiative, he spent his evenings working with the local coaches of Zhongshan's local amateur youth baseball teams. For the first time in history, the same city won all four 2019 China National Championship gold medals, in 18U, 15U, 12U and 10U, that city being Zhongshan! Valcke worked with the China Baseball Association and Major League Baseball in helping the world's largest country accelerate their evolution into baseball, and helped them design and build a professional baseball stadium, a 600-room dormitory, and a new HQ for Panda Sport and Culture, where he held the role of CEO, in charge of a staff of 60. Valcke, former Technical Director, and Executive Director of Baseball Canada, and former coach of Team Canada, remains a baseball analyst with CBC Canada Radio and TV. The former president/CEO of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, who spent a decade as the Canadian Supervisor with the Major League Baseball Central Scouting Bureau, served as a television broadcaster for the Montreal Expos, the GM of the Calgary Cannons Triple-A club, and the CEO/Head Coach of the World Children's Baseball Fair. He is the proud father of Alanna, Jaxon and Mia, and lucky husband of Paula since 1987. Jaxon and Mia are current star players and captains, respectively, of the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds baseball and softball teams. Mia also became the second female in history to play in World Cups for Team Canada Women's baseball team as well as Team Canada Women's softball team. https://www.canadianbaseballnetwork.com/canadian-baseball-network-articles/baseball-nomad-valcke-a-top-amateur-executive http://www.wbsc.org/csta-prestige-awards-honors-tom-valcke/ https://cooperstownersincanada.com/2012/01/23/valcke-recognized-for-global-baseball-efforts/
    The Valckes says:

    Is the middle name a city in Ohio?

  2. Jackie Robinson is the first person I remember who played baseball. I saw him play for the Montreal Royals in 1946 before moving to New York. I remember a field full of white players in white uniforms and one black player that stood out. I was 1-1/2 years old and carry that memory in my head to this day, now 73 years later. I remember 3 other things…the high glass entrance to the stadium, the cement seats with wood slats and my very first hot dog….that was the best part. hahaha.

    1. cooperstownersincanada – Kevin Glew is a professional writer based in London, Ontario. His work has been featured on CBC Sports, Sportsnet.ca, MLB.com and Sympatico.ca. He has also written articles for Baseball Digest, Baseball America, The Hockey News, Sports Market Report and the Canadian Baseball Network. He has been involved with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for more than 16 years, including a two-year stint as the museum's acting curator.
      cooperstownersincanada says:

      Thanks for sharing your memories, Bob. They made me want to go back in time.

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