Dr. Bob (Doc) Brodrick (standing, fourth from left) with the 1949-50 Steatham hockey team, champions of the English National League.
Dr. Robert James (Doc) Brodrick
Born: September 1, 1922
Died: February 22, 2015 (Montréal)
Concordia Stingers Sports Hall of Fame (1967)
McGill Sports Hall of Fame (1997)
Dr. Bob Brodrick was the medical director of the Montreal Expos for the club’s first 25 years, handling everything from colds and sprains to the case of a frostbitten thumb suffered by a fan at a game at Jarry Park in 1970.
The aches and pains treated by Dr. Brodrick were numerous, from a minor right ankle sprain suffered by Ken Singleton to strained ligaments in Woody Fryman’s left elbow to a cracked rib suffered by Steve Rogers to a blown-out knee suffered by Boots Day in a charity basketball game. The doctor also detected a heart murmur while examining Expos pitching coach Jim Brewer and treated manager Jim Fanning when he suffered extreme headaches in 1982. (The Expos are a team known give them.)
As team physician, Dr. Brodrick also handled Tim Raines when the star outfielder was discovered to be abusing cocaine. The expos did not immediately direct Raines to rehabilitation, though he later spent 30 days detoxifying. While using cocaine in 1982, Raines hit .277 and stole 78 bases to lead the National League.
Asked why Raines was not immediately sent to rehab, Dr. Brodrick replied, “It was expedient to Tim and to the club, too,” he told Michael Farber of the Montreal Gazette. “But you take the first step first … a rehabilitation centre is not the first step.”
It was his duty as team physician to conduct physicals on all players at spring training.
In 1974, Dr. Brodrick was elected secretary-treasurer of the Major League Baseball Physicians’ Association. He became president the following year, and again in 1984. He also compiled a history of the group.
Brodrick was a top student and star athlete at Loyola High School in Montréal and, later, Loyola College. From 1939-40 to 1941-42, Brodrick played defence for his neighbourhood (Notre-Dame-de-Grace juveniles), college (Loyola Warriors), and officers’ training corps teams, as well as with the Montreal Junior Royals for eight games of the eastern playoffs for the Memorial Cup. He won his college’s inaugural Loyola Sportsmanship Trophy in 1942.
In 1942-43, he joined the roster of the senior Montreal Royals as a 20-year-old wartime recruit. He entered McGill University the following year, patrolling the blue-line for the McGill Redmen for four seasons while completing his medical studies. In 1944-45, he skated for the Redmen, the Royals of the Quebec Senior Hockey League, and the Lachine Rapides of the Quebec Provincial Hockey League, another senior circuit.
In 1946, he was captain of the Redmen team that won the Queen’s Cup as champions of the Senior Intercollegiate Hockey League.
In 1948-49, Dr. Brodrick went overseas to be playing coach of Streatham in the English National League. He was captain when Streatham won the national tournament and then the National League championships in 1950.
In 1951, the British publisher Nicholas Kaye released a book, “Ice Hockey,” which offered instruction in coaching hockey and was credited to “Doc” Brodrick.
Dr. Brodrick spent nearly a half-century in medical practice. He had graduated with a degree from Loyola in 1943 and with a medical degree from McGill in 1947.
A charter member of the Loyola Sports Hall of Fame in 1967 (now included as part of the Concordia Sports Hall of Fame), he was also inducted into the McGill Sports Hall of Fame in 1997. In 2002, he was named the recipient of the Lester B. Pearson Award by Canadian Interuniversity Sport as a former varsity athlete of accomplishment.
Dr. Brodrick was predeceased by a daughter, Laurie Brodrick, who played hockey for both Loyola College and Concordia and was inducted into the Concordia Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.