By Michael Boriero
Vincent Churchill “Manny” McIntyre was the first Black Canadian to sign a professional contract in baseball’s modern era, when he inked a deal with the Sherbrooke Canadians, a farm team of the St. Louis Cardinals, in 1946 — 75 years ago.
McIntyre, who passed away in 2011 at the age of 92, grew up playing baseball and ice hockey near Fredericton, New Brunswick, but although he excelled in both sports, the hulking athlete failed to gain much recognition due to the colour of his skin.
He was inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in 1997, and posthumously inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. McIntyre also famously played hockey on the all Black line, or the Black Aces, alongside Herb and Ossie Carnegie.
Before he connected with the Carnegie’s to form the historic hockey trio, McIntyre featured in baseball and hockey seniors leagues across the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario. He was an inspiration to many people, including an 11-year-old John Lutz.