Daytona Beach in Volusia County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
— Jackie Robinson Ballpark & Museum —
January 18, 1958, a strong, diligent athlete by the name of Willie O’Ree broke the color barrier in the National Hockey League. Playing with the Boston Bruins in Montreal, against the Canadians. Often referred to as the “Jackie Robinson of hockey”, Willie O’Ree acknowledges that he did not experience the same degree of challenge that Jackie Robinson had experienced. Although accepted by his teammates, Willie O’Ree was still confronted with racist and derogatory comments from fans and players. Known for his speed and agility on the ice, O’Ree played his entire 20 year career with one eye, a result of a puck injury to his right eye.
In 1998, Willie O’Ree was honored by being named the Director of Youth Hockey Development for the NHL/USA hockey diversity task force, recognizing his pioneering efforts to diversify the sport of hockey. “Our job is to help these kids along, help them with their skills, hockey skills and other life skills. To make sure they are heading in the right direction. Hopefully I can make a difference, and we’ll see more minority players in the NHL.”
In a fitting tribute to Willie
Caption: Photo courtesy of NHL images
Erected by Daytona Beach, Florida.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Civil Rights • Sports.
Location. 29° 12.557′ N, 81° 0.999′ W. Marker is in Daytona Beach, Florida, in Volusia County. Marker is on East Orange Avenue 0.1 miles east of South Beach Street, on the left when traveling east. Marker located in Jackie Robinson Ballpark and Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 105 E Orange Ave, Daytona Beach FL 32114, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Jackie Robinson Ballpark & Museum (a few steps from this marker); Roberto Clemente (a few steps from this marker); A Gifted Athlete (a few steps from this marker); Althea Gibson (a few steps from this marker); Jackie Robinson (a few steps from this marker); Exceptional Athletic Ability (within shouting distance of this marker); Sports Memories (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Beginnings (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Daytona Beach.
More about this marker. This Daytona Beach Ballpark is named in honor of famed Major League Baseball player Jackie Robinson. In 1946, Daytona Beach was the only city along the spring season circuit to allow Robinson to play. This event helped Robinson to eventually break the color barrier in major league baseball. On October 22, 1998, this stadium was added to the United States National Register of Historic Places.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 22, 2018. It was originally submitted on July 19, 2017, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 157 times since then and 36 times this year. Last updated on August 2, 2017, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 19, 2017, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.