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”

1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Jack Cassini

Jesse Owens is the only person that could beat Jack Cassini in a foot race. At least that’s what the former Montreal Royal told the Arizona Republic in an interview in March 2008. “I could hit, and I could run like hell,” Cassini told the paper. The ex-big leaguer was 88 when he made thisContinue reading “1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Jack Cassini”

1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Ed Roebuck

From ace starter in Montreal to World Series-winning closer in Brooklyn, Ed Roebuck certainly proved his versatility on the mound in the mid-1950s. After tying for the team lead in wins (18) with the Triple-A Montreal Royals in 1954, Roebuck made the big league Dodgers as a reliever the following spring. Brooklyn bench boss WalterContinue reading “1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Ed Roebuck”

1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo … Joe Black

“He was not a star, but a nova, appearing, flaring and disappearing . . . “                                                                           Roger Kahn, The Boys of Summer It would be difficult to describe Joe Black’s major league career more accurately and eloquently than Kahn did in his acclaimed 1972 book about the Brooklyn Dodgers. After toeing the rubber inContinue reading “1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo … Joe Black”

1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Humberto (Chico) Fernandez

It’s not easy being a prospect when the player you’re touted to replace is a perennial all-star and fan favourite. That’s the position that Humberto “Chico” Fernandez found himself in after he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers as a 19-year-old in 1951. Once the slick-fielding shortstop was in the Dodgers’ system, it seemed thatContinue reading “1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Humberto (Chico) Fernandez”

1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Gino Cimoli

Who was the first player to walk to the plate in a major league game on the West Coast? The answer is Gino Cimoli, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound San Francisco native who was selected to bat leadoff for the Dodgers in their first regular season contest representing the city of Los Angeles. With his friends andContinue reading “1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Gino Cimoli”

1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Don Thompson

*This is part of my ongoing series of articles about members of the 1954 Montreal Royals. While manning left field for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Don Thompson threw out New York Yankees second baseman Billy Martin to end Game 4 of the 1953 World Series. But while this toss was one of the highlights of Thompson’sContinue reading “1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Don Thompson”