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Local History

Jackie Robinson and the Kansas City Monarchs

T. Y. Baird, co-owner of the Kansas City Monarchs, was surprised to learn that Jackie Robinson had been signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers International League farm club, the Montreal Royals. Robinson played shortstop for the Monarchs and had hit .345 in the previous season.

According to a related article, Jackie Robinson was signed by Dodger President Branch Rickey after a three year search. The contract called not only for a regular player’s salary, but also included a signing bonus.

The paper quotes Robinson as saying:
“Of course, I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am that I am the first member of my race in organized baseball. I realize how much it means to me, to my race and to baseball. I can only say I’ll do my very best to come through in every manner.” Springfield Daily News October, 24, 1945

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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