Frances Maltin’s Contribution to Major League Baseball

Contributed by Mat Sgan, part of the Sof Ma’arav History Project

As Mat Sgan explains:

Jackie Robinson broke the color line in Major League Baseball in 1947. Before that, and to prepare him and the world for that momentous occurrence, he played for the 1946 Triple A Montreal Royals baseball team. They were befriended by the Maltin family in Montreal.

Below is how Frances describes what happened:

When Jackie and his wife, Rachel, moved to Montreal, they did not live with us, but did become companions and lifelong friends. My father, Sam Maltin, who was a sports writer for the Montreal Herald at the time, is noted for writing this famous paragraph in baseball literary history.

“It was probably the only time that a black man ran away from a white mob with love instead of lynching on its mind.”

This was 1946, after Jackie led the Montreal Royals to the ‘little’ (AAA) World Series Championship. The crowd literally chased Jackie down the street in order to embrace him.

The PBS Jackie Robinson Story talked about how well the family fit into the Brooklyn neighborhood and showed a picture of Jackie and Rachel’s son, Jackie Jr. playing with a little white girl. Well, the picture was actually taken in Montreal and that little white girl is my younger sister.


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