Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).
Jackie’s Door, De Gaspé Ave, Montréal
First a quick shout-out and a hearty Happy Independence Day to all our Doorthusiasts in the U.S.A.
I hope you have a safe and fun-filled July 4th celebration and still find time to share your favorite doors with us 😉
For those of you wondering where I was going with my little quiz at the end of last week’s post perhaps this mural that I came across at the top of the lane-way will help.
The fellow depicted here is American hall of fame baseball player Jackie Robinson.
Robinson is best known as the star player for the Brooklyn Dodgers for a decade or so starting in 1947.
As the first African-American to play in the major leagues he is credited with helping to break down racial barriers that existed not only in professional sport, but in society in general.
The ground-breaking general manager of the Dodgers at the time, Branch Rickey had signed Robinson out of the Negro League in the winter of 1946 to a professional major league contract. Weeks later all but one of the league’s team owners voted at their winter meetings to continue NOT to allow African American players into the league.
Knowing he had a can’t miss all-star player under contract, Rickey refused to give up and decided to give the league some time to get itself ready for the racially integrated reality that was going to be it’s future. Rickey did this by easing Robinson into professional baseball through the Dodger’s International League AAA farm team, the Montreal Royals, where there’d be less press and less racism.
Though the decision wasn’t met with unanimous acceptance by baseball insiders who ran the team in Montreal, baseball fans in the city fell in love with their star 2nd baseman who helped lead the team to a league championship that season.
That year Robinson and his wife Rachel lived in an upstairs duplex apartment in the primarily French-speaking working class Villeray district. They didn’t speak French and most of their neighbours didn’t speak much English, yet somehow everyone got along and respected each other as they were.
But before settling into a peaceful home life on de Gaspé Ave, Jackie and Rachel endured a month of spring training in Florida which included being bumped off of flights, trains and buses, and being put up in different hotel accommodations, and at times not being allowed to eat in the same restaurants as the rest of the team.
By the time the regular season started in April, settling into a relatively normal life on a quiet residential street where everyone was friendly, helpful, and accepting must have been a welcome change.
After Jackie’s death in 1972 Rachel often mentioned how their time in Montreal was instrumental in preparing them both for the groundbreaking events that were still to come, and she spoke fondly of the mutual love affair they both shared with their first major league home.
Today if you take a walk out front of 8232 de Gaspé Ave
you’d never guess at the historical significance of the place,
except for door painted the same Dodger blue as the uniform Jackie wore
and a gold plaque to commemorate the simple apartment from which Jackie and Rachel made history.
As always I thank you for stopping in 🙂
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