Jackie Robinson event in Côte Saint-Luc on May 10

 

Jackie Robinson poses before his first Minor League game, in Jersey City, N.J., on April 18, 1946Côte Saint-Luc, April 30, 2013 – A discussion about how Jackie Robinson broke the major league baseball colour barrier and how his achievements advanced tolerance and understanding takes place on Friday, May 10, 2013 at 10 am at Côte Saint-Luc City Hall, 5801 Cavendish Blvd.

Guest speakers include former Montreal Expos star and head of the Montreal Baseball Project Warren Cromartie; Jack Jedwab, executive  director of the Association of Canadian Studies; and Kermit Kitman, who was part of the Brooklyn Dodgers organization with Robinson 67 years ago and spent four weeks getting to know him during the 1946 spring training. 

The event is hosted by the City of Côte Saint-Luc and the English Montreal School Board. Students from local schools will attend the event. The public is also welcome to attend this free event.

Although there had been African American baseball players as early as the 1880s in the professional leagues, the teams that made up professional baseball eventually agreed unofficially to stop using black players. In November 1945, Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey broke with convention and signed Robinson to a contract. Robinson played for Dodgers triple-A team, the Montreal Royals in 1946. He debuted with the Dodgers in 1947 and was selected as the Rookie of the Year. Robinson was the National League’s Most Valuable player in 1949, and helped the Dodgers win the World Series in 1955. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

“Having been involved in the sports world all of my life I cannot remember a time when black athletes did not make up a high percentage of major leaguers,” said Councillor Mike Cohen, who will co-chair the event with Councillor Allan J. Levine. “But you only need to go back 60 years to know a time when there were no black players in Major League Baseball. Jackie Robinson changed history in a tangible way.”

Councillor Levine said that this event is part of ensuring that local schools find a way to bring Robinson’s inspiring life story part of the classroom curriculum. The Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library will present a formal display of books about Jackie Robinson.

On July 1, 2013, Côte Saint-Luc will unveil a plaque honouring Robinson on the city’s Human Rights Walkway at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park.

 

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Media contact: Darryl Levine, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, 514-485-8905, dlevine@cotesaintluc.org

 

 

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