Remembering Jackie

The Tides got shelled last night, at the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, affiliate of the Phillies.  Well, sort of.  The relationship has soured, and next year the 18 year affiliation will end.  Guess Pennsylvania is not the state of brotherly love.  I haven’t really been able to get engaged in this series, in part because when you can find information on a player, it is usually something like “is nothing more than organization depth for the Phillies”.  I’m wondering if the Phillies have basically abandoned the Red Barons, shipping all their prospects to AA Reading.  The Red Barons do play in one of my favoritely named ballparks:  Lackawanna County Stadium.  Unfortunately there’s no lack of want in Scranton Wilkes-Barre.  Guess I should speak softly, though: the Red Barons have won three of four in this series.

Next up for the Tides is the Rochester Red Wings, affiliate of the Twins and one of the original teams in the International League via the Eastern League.  The International League itself is very old.  In 1897 the Rochester ballpark burned and the team, then called the Jingos, finished the season in Montreal, with the understanding the team would return to Rochester the following season.  Montreal decided possession was nine-tenths of the law, and Rochester had to buy the Scranton membership to stay in the league.  The International League gets its name from its historical connections to Canadian teams.

The Jackie Robinson story really begins with the Montreal Royals of the International League in 1946, where Robinson was positioned to prepare him for what was to come.  On this date, April 18, Robinson went 4-for-5 with four runs, a dinger, 4 RBIs, 2 stolen bases and forced 2 balks.  MiLB.com is chronicling Jackie’s exploits in the International League this season in its series, Remembering Jackie.

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