A Royal: Jackie Robinson

Yesterday, cities throughout the United States were celebrating the 65th anniversary of Jackie Robinson becoming the first African-American to play baseball in the major leagues. A little known fact is that the year before he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers, he played for the Montreal Royals, one of the Dodgers' top farm clubs at the time. Not only credited with breaking the colour barrier in major league sports, Robinson was also a civil rights activist who worked alongside Martin Luther King Junior.

Now, you may be wondering about my sudden interest in baseball. This weekend, on a walk just a few blocks from my house, I discovered the duplex where Jackie Robinson lived with his wife, Rachel, while he played for the Royals in the 1946 season. A brass plaque in both French and English, a gift from the US Consulate, is now proudly displayed outside the front door of 8232 De Gaspé just north of Jarry in Villeray.

I wonder if he ever had breakfast at the Quebec Deli? Or had a smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz's?

Other Montreal-related posts
Montreal Heritage: Griffintown Horse Palace
Montreal: 200,000 Students Demonstrate
The Montreal News Group 
Neon Icon: Miss Villeray




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