Future Hall of Famer signed first pro contract and made history
MONTREAL, June 22, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The original contracts signed by Jackie Robinson, the first black player to ever play in a major sports team, returned to Montreal today, marking a major moment in history, 70 years after his beginning with the Montreal Royals of the International Baseball League.
Mykalai Kontilai, the founder of Collector's Café and the owner of the contracts, brought Jackie Robinson's signed contracts to Montreal -- where it all started. For the first time in seven decades Jackie Robinson's historic contracts with the Montreal Royals and the Brooklyn Dodgers (now appraised at $36 million) have been publicly unveiled in Canada.
That contract, and the following one that would introduce Robinson to the parent Brooklyn Dodgers will be on display at Montreal City Hall today until 7:00 pm and tomorrow June 23rd from 8:00 am until 7:00 pm.
The Mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre, an inveterate baseball fan, presided over the unveiling of the contracts today at City Hall in the presence of Mykalai Kontilai, owner of the contracts; Larry King, brand ambassador for Collectors Café, and former major league baseball player Claude Raymond, representing Baseball Quebec. David Loiseau, the first French Canadian to fight for UFC titles was also on site representing professional athletes from other sports who benefited from Jackie Robinson's doing 70 years ago.
As it turned out, it was far more than a minor league baseball player signing a one-year contract to play professional baseball for a Triple-A team on that late October day in 1945.
The long war was over and America was turning back to the pursuits of peacetime. There was never a better time for Branch Rickey to attempt his Grand Experiment of knocking down baseball's infamous Color Line which kept whites and blacks apart in the sport, except for barnstorming and exhibition games. The General Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers was itching to get some of the great players in the Negro Leagues – who he had scouted for years – into the Major Leagues.
This would be a New America and the young man signing his name to a contract on that day, October 23, 1945, would be a harbinger of change in baseball that would serve as a catalyst for the entire Civil Rights movement. And once again, Montreal would play a leading role in North American history.
Jackie's Montreal contract, helped pave the way for his entry into major league baseball in 1947 with the Dodgers. It is considered by many document of freedom experts as the founding document of the civil rights movement.
How significant would this signing prove to be? Witness this exchange between media personality Larry King and Martin Luther King Jr.
In an interview, Larry King introduced MLK Jr as the "founder of the civil rights movement." MLK Jr corrected Larry saying "I am not the founder of the Civil Rights Movement. The founder of the Civil Rights Movement is Jackie Robinson."
Collectors Café, the present owner of the Jackie Robinson contracts, is the global lifestyle brand for collectors and the collectibles industry operating on a comprehensive and diverse multi-media platform, the only company in the world offering authencity insured collectables underwritten by many of the top insurance companies in the world (including Lloyds of London , Hiscox, AIG, Chubb, Liberty Mutual and C. V. Starr & Co.).
With its integrated social network and auction house, representing a comprehensive pre-authenticated selection of categories in the marketplace, Collectors Café provides a state of the art user experience promoting and encouraging collectors to pursue their passion for collectibles as well as place to pursue further educational knowledge through Collectors Cafe.
Furthermore, a TV series called, Collectors Café, will be hosted by Mykalai Kontilai himself with the participation of Larry King, brand ambassador for Collectors Cafe, and his wife, Shawn King . The series will also provide viewers access to the entire collectibles world. Collectors Café will take viewers on a daily journey where you will see new and exciting collections, meet the world's most interesting celebrities and collectors, and pursue your passion through the world's first global lifestyle collectibles brand.
For more information on Collectors Cafe, please visit www.collectorscafe.com
Images of the contracts and Jackie can all be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9zdx0x6oqpklmwu/AAD7zw6iuwkegJS52czdEWkga?dl=0
SOURCE Collectors Cafe
For further information: Marie-Emmanuelle Khoury or Lauriane Ayivi, Torchia Communications, 514 288-8290, extensions 214 or 233, Cell MEK: 514 973-9655, Cell LA: 514 567-1892, [email protected], [email protected]