A pioneer in sports medicine, he served as team physician for the Montreal Expos baseball club from 1969 to 1994 and was president of the Major League Baseball Physicians’ Association. He was a charter inductee to the Loyola (now Concordia) Sports Hall of Fame in 1967 and was part of the 1946 Redmen hockey team that was inducted to the McGill Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.
Born Robert James Brodrick in Montreal on Sept. 1, 1922, he was educated at Loyola College, where he earned a bachelor of arts (1943), followed by a medical degree from McGill Unversity in 1947. During his college days, he was an all-star football and hockey player at Loyola. He skated for the Montreal Royals and led them to a Dominion (national) championship in 1939-40. The inaugural winner of the Loyola Sportsmanship Trophy in 1942, Brodrick went on to play the next four seasons on the blueline at McGill where he won a Scarlet Key Award for leadership. After graduating from McGill, he played for Lachine Rapides and concluded his hockey career as a playing coach with Streatham in the English National League (1949-50).
Brodrick served the medical profession for almost five decades. Following his graduation from medical school he completed his internship training in hospitals in Montreal and London, England. He specialized in internal medicine with speciality training in radiology. He operated a private practice in Westmount and was on the medical staff at Canadair and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Montreal. He also held an academic appointment as lecturer in the department of medicine and clinical medicine at McGill . His memberships in medical societies numbered nearly a dozen.
Brodrick, who once authored a book, “Ice Hockey”, received an honorary doctorate of laws, honoris causa, from Concordia in 1987 and was recognized by Canadian Interuniversity Sport in 2002 with the Lester B. Pearson Award, presented to a former Canadian varsity athlete who has made significant accomplishments within the community and country and for their university. Since 1997-98, the Brodrick Trophy has been awarded annually to the Quebec university women’s hockey champions in the RSEQ conference.
He holds the distinction of being only one of two students ever to receive the “Representative Loyola Boy” medal in high school and the “Governor General’s” medal upon graduating. His leadership qualities were amply displayed in his role as class president during all four years at Loyola. He was also president of the student council, valedictorian of his graduating class, president of the Loyola College Athletic Association, served two terms as president of the Loyola Alumni Association and was a member of the school’s board of governors.
Brodrick is mourned by his wife Claire Veilleux Brodrick, her daughters Annie-Claude Banville (Jean-François Chénier) and Brigitte Banville (Christopher Palin), and his children with the late Eleanor Brodrick, Lynne (Sandy Cochrane), Jo(Terry Poile), Robbie (Helen Reece) and Mark (Marsha Adams). He is predeceased by his daughter Laurie.
Donations in his name may be made to Loyola High School Foundation, 7272 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal, Que, H4B 1R2, or Queen Elizabeth Health Complex Foundation, 2100 Marlowe Avenue, Suite 102, Montreal, Que., H4A 3L5.
Visitation is Thursday, Feb 26 from 6 to 9 p.m. and Friday, Feb. 27 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Collins Clarke MacGillivray White Funeral Home (5610 Sherbrooke St. West). A funeral service is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 27 at 11 a.m. at the St. Richard’s Parish, 7070 Guelph, Côte St-Luc, Que.
Messages of condolences can be submitted online.
(Editor’s Note: We didn’t even know that Dr. Brodrick played hockey. We just knew he was a good man — always available to discuss an elbow or a pulled groin with the Montreal Expos — and how he treated a green, rookie for sunstroke in his first spring training at West Palm Beach in 1980.)