Remembering Jackie Robinson’s season in Montreal

*Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jackie Robinson Day, which is normally celebrated on April 15, was rescheduled to today. Here’s an article I wrote a few years ago and have been updating each year. It has never been more important to remember Jackie Robinson than right now, but when I re-read this today, I feelContinue reading “Remembering Jackie Robinson’s season in Montreal”

1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Joe Carbonaro

By Kevin Glew Cooperstowners in Canada You wouldn’t believe the stories this retired cabinetmaker can tell you. Like how he hated throwing batting practice to Roberto Clemente, because almost everything the free-swinging outfielder hit went right back “through the box.” Or about how he shared a spring training complex with Jackie Robinson. “Vero Beach (theContinue reading “1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Joe Carbonaro”

1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Wally Fiala

He didn’t quite make the big leagues, but Wally Fiala must have been able to tell some great stories about his professional baseball career. The gritty infielder, whose road to the big leagues was blocked by Brooklyn Dodgers superstars like Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese and Gil Hodges, roomed with the spirited and loquacious TommyContinue reading “1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Wally Fiala”

1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Glenn Mickens

When Glenn Mickens raved to a baseball acquaintance about a promising, young outfielder that was playing behind him on the 1954 Montreal Royals, he may have inadvertently inspired a transaction that would change Pittsburgh Pirates history. “Ironically, one of the other scouts that helped sign me, Howie Haak, was now with the Pirates and cameContinue reading “1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Glenn Mickens”

1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Dixie Howell

Montreal Gazette reporter Dink Carroll referred to Homer “Dixie” Howell as “the prodigal son.” The description was apt when you consider that Howell played parts of six seasons, in four separate stints, with the Montreal Royals. No matter where the likeable catcher traveled during his lengthy professional baseball odyssey, his road always seemed to pointContinue reading “1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Dixie Howell”

1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Max Macon

Former Montreal Royals manager Max Macon could never escape the questions about Roberto Clemente. Was he or was he not part of a conspiracy to try to hide the talents of Clemente in 1954? To provide some background, when Clemente was signed to a $15,000 contract by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954, the big leagueContinue reading “1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Max Macon”

1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Dick Whitman

He lost his big league job to Duke Snider and had to compete for playing time with Roberto Clemente, but Dick Whitman still managed to forge out a 13-year career in professional baseball. Born in Woodburn, Ore., in 1920, Whitman played for the semi-pro Silverton Red Sox alongside future big leaguers Johnny Pesky and JoeContinue reading “1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Dick Whitman”

1954 Montreal Royals Photo . . . Charlie Thompson

Is he Charlie or Tim? That’s the question that still follows one of the longest tenured Montreal Royals around. You see, Charlie Thompson (as identified in the Montreal Royals team photo above and on his 1954 Topps baseball card) is presented as “Tim Thompson” on his 1958 Topps card. And if you conduct a GoogleContinue reading “1954 Montreal Royals Photo . . . Charlie Thompson”

1954 Montreal Royals Photo . . . Ken Lehman

He pitched two scoreless innings in the 1952 World Series against the powerhouse New York Yankees and in parts of five major league seasons in total, but Ken Lehman experienced his greatest success on the diamond in Montreal. In three seasons with the Montreal Royals from 1953 to 1955, the six-foot left-hander won a JuniorContinue reading “1954 Montreal Royals Photo . . . Ken Lehman”

1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Bobby Wilson

It was Jackie Robinson who reportedly encouraged the Brooklyn Dodgers to sign Bobby Wilson out of the Negro Leagues. And when No. 42 spoke, the Dodgers listened, especially after his 1949 season in which he won the National League batting title and was named league MVP. Born in 1925 in Dallas, Texas, Wilson proved toContinue reading “1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Bobby Wilson”