But What Do I Know? . . . Jackie Robinson, J.A. Happ, Clyde Mashore

My weekly observations and notes about some Canadian baseball stories: • Today would’ve been Jackie Robinson’s 97th birthday and it’s a day that Canadians should celebrate. Prior to breaking Major League Baseball’s colour barrier in 1947, Robinson starred at second base for the triple-A Montreal Royals, a Brooklyn Dodgers farm team, in 1946. It’s widelyContinue reading “But What Do I Know? . . . Jackie Robinson, J.A. Happ, Clyde Mashore”

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”

But What Do I Know? . . . George Shuba, Dalton Pompey, George Spencer

My weekly observations and notes about some Canadian baseball stories: • George Shuba, who played parts of three seasons with the Montreal Royals (1946, 1951, 1956), passed away on Monday in Youngstown, Ohio at the age of 89. The 5-foot-11 outfielder spent his entire professional career in the Brooklyn Dodgers organization. And though he competedContinue reading “But What Do I Know? . . . George Shuba, Dalton Pompey, George Spencer”

But What Do I Know? . . . Matt Stairs, Tyson Gillies, Jackie Robinson

My weekly observations and notes about some Canadian baseball stories: – With this year’s Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in the books, I’ve started to look ahead to 2015. Next year will be Fredericton, N.B., native Matt Stairs’ first year of eligibility and the Canuck slugger, who belted 265 career homers (second-most byContinue reading “But What Do I Know? . . . Matt Stairs, Tyson Gillies, Jackie Robinson”

But What Do I Know? . . . Oscar Taveras, Roy Halladay, Brad Mills

My weekly observations and notes about some Canadian baseball stories: – Prized St. Louis Cardinals prospect Oscar Taveras homered in his second big league at bat in his team’s 2-0 win over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday. Born in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, the 21-year-old outfielder also owns a Canadian passport. According to anContinue reading “But What Do I Know? . . . Oscar Taveras, Roy Halladay, Brad Mills”

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 . . . 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 … 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”

Celebrating Jackie Robinson on his birthday

Writer’s Note: Jackie Robinson would’ve turned 95 today. In honour of his birthday, I present to you the short bio that I wrote for the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s website. Prior to breaking Major League Baseball’s colour barrier in 1947, Jackie Robinson starred at second base for the Montreal Royals, a Brooklyn Dodgers farmContinue reading “Celebrating Jackie Robinson on his birthday”

1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Glenn Cox

When Glenn Cox debuted with the Montreal Royals in the spring of 1951, the first batter he faced was Jackie Robinson. The Dodgers’ Triple-A Royals were battling their big league peers in an exhibition game, and as Robinson dug into the batter’s box, Cox, then a raw, 20-year-old right-hander, stared in for a sign fromContinue reading “1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Glenn Cox”