Documentary relives Robinson’s spring training game in Daytona

COMPILED BY DAYTONA TIMES STAFF

The Halifax Historical Museum will commemorate Jackie Robinson’s history-making 1946 spring training game in Daytona Beach with a gala reception and documentary movie premiere.

160121_dt_front04On March 17, 1946, Robinson played in a spring training baseball game as a member of the Montreal Royals, the Dodger organization’s AAA Minor League team. On that day, the Royals played against the Major League’s Brooklyn Dodgers – the first time that a professional baseball game knowingly included an African-American since 1887. The following spring Robinson would break the Major League’s color barrier when he joined the Dodgers.

To commemorate that event, the Halifax Historical Society is inviting the public to participate in a celebration and the premiere of the documentary, “Oral Histories of Jackie Robinson’s 1946 Spring Training.”

March 17 event
It will take place on Thursday, March 17, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Halifax Historical Museum, 252 South Beach St. Daytona Beach.  Free parking will be available in the parking lot off of Magnolia Ave. between Jackie Robinson Ballpark and the Daytona Beach Library. Shuttle service will be available.

The Jackie Robinson Ballpark was established during the 1920s as City Island Ball Park.

Consultants for the film were former Daytona Beach NAACP President James Daniels and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis professor and former Daytona Beach News-Journal reporter Chris Lamb.

Residents interviewed
The 25-minute documentary consists of videotaped interviews with local African-American residents who witnessed the 1946 spring training or resided in Daytona Beach when Robinson broke professional baseball’s color line.

The interviewees provide first-hand accounts of him Robinson playing at Kelly Field, located in Daytona Beach’s African-American community and the Royals’ spring training site, as well as the historic March 17th game at City Island Ball Park.

The documentary also explores post World War II race relations in Daytona Beach. It features interviews with Daytona Beach residents James Daniels, Mrs.  Larry Hyde, Jerry Murphy, Luther Laws, Carlton Scarlett, LeRoy Edwards, and Henry Fudge.

Funds  for the film came from the Florida Humanities Council. Halifax Historical Society and retired professor Leonard Lempel and  award-winning photographer and cinematographer Eric Breitenbach co-produced the documentary.

Single tickets for the event are $8 for Halifax Historical members and $10 for non members.

For more information about sponsorships, purchasing tickets and parking, call the museum at 386-255-6976, Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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