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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Daytona Beach in Volusia County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Kelly Field and Jackie Robinson

 
 
Kelly Field and Jackie Robinson Marker (front) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brandon D Cross, January 9, 2023
1. Kelly Field and Jackie Robinson Marker (front)
Inscription.  
(Front)
The year was 1946, Daytona Beach was the only city in racially segregated Florida, perhaps in the entire South, that accepted integrated professional baseball. City officials ignored Jim Crow laws when the Brooklyn Dodgers and their top minor league team, the Montreal Royals, held spring training in Daytona Beach. Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, a nationally recognized Civil Rights leader who founded nearby Bethune-Cookman College, influenced city politics. Dodgers president Branch Rickey, in an attempt to reintegrate organized baseball after nearly 70 years of segregation, had signed two Negro League players, infielder Jackie Robinson and pitcher Johnny Wright, to play for the Royals in 1946. Before and after his historic appearance at City Island Ballpark in Daytona Beach on March 17, 1946, where he broke Major League Baseball's color barrier, Robinson and the Montreal team spent most of their time practicing and playing games with other minor league teams at Kelly Field. Located just steps from this spot, Kelly Field was for decades a key community gathering spot for African Americans in Daytona Beach's Midway neighborhood.
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(Reverse)
(Continued from other side)
On March 6, 1946, two African American ballplayers, Jackie Robinson and Johnny Wright, and their white Montreal Royals teammates began spring training in Daytona Beach. The site was Kelly Field, which was located just a few steps from the Baltimore Afro-American wrote in his nationally syndicated column "It was the first time in history that a colored player had competed in a game representing a team in modern organized baseball." Following spring training in Daytona Beach, the only city to allow integrated baseball during that spring training, Robinson went on to lead Montreal to a 1946 minor league championship. He was promoted to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and helped the Dodgers to six National League pennants and one World Series championship. Following his ten-year major league career, Robinson was enshrined in baseball's Hall of Fame in 1962.
 
Erected 2022 by City of Daytona Beach, Volusia County-Daytona Beach NAACP, Society for American Baseball Research, and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-1191.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil RightsEntertainmentSports. A significant historical date for this entry is March 6, 1946.
 
Location.
Kelly Field and Jackie Robinson Marker (reverse side) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brandon D Cross, January 9, 2023
2. Kelly Field and Jackie Robinson Marker (reverse side)
29° 12.69′ N, 81° 2.539′ W. Marker is in Daytona Beach, Florida, in Volusia County. Marker is at the intersection of George W Engram Boulevard and Walker Avenue, on the right when traveling east on George W Engram Boulevard. Marker located at the entrance to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Walking Trail. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 981 George W Engram Blvd, 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. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Time Capsule (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Cypress Street Elementary School (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Home of Mr. Harold V. Lucas, Sr. (approx. half a mile away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away); Francis R. Keyser (approx. 0.6 miles away); Dr. Mary Bethune (approx. 0.6 miles away); Mary McLeod Bethune Historic Home (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Old Kings Road (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Daytona Beach.
 
Also see . . .  Kelly Field historical marker dedication. (Submitted on January 14, 2023, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida.)
 
Kelly Field and Jackie Robinson Marker (front) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brandon D Cross, January 9, 2023
3. Kelly Field and Jackie Robinson Marker (front)
Kelly Field and Jackie Robinson Marker (reverse side) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brandon D Cross, January 9, 2023
4. Kelly Field and Jackie Robinson Marker (reverse side)
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Walking Trail entrance sign image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brandon D Cross, January 9, 2023
5. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Walking Trail entrance sign
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 14, 2023. It was originally submitted on January 14, 2023, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 161 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 14, 2023, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 18, 2024