Monte Irvin Dies At Age 96
Monte Irvin, Hall of Famer and one of the legendary baseball players who first integrated the major league, passed away today at the age of 96.
Via Sports Illustrated:
On Monday night, the baseball world lost a giant with the passing of Hall of Fame outfielder Monte Irvin at age 96. A key figure in the integration of the major leagues, Irvin nearly beat Jackie Robinson across the color line before going on to star for two New York Giants pennant winners, and later served as baseball’s first black executive and a key figure in the Hall’s recognition of Negro League stars. He had been living in a retirement home in Houston, and prior to his death was the second-oldest living Hall of Famer, behind only Bobby Doerr.
A four-time participant in the Negro leagues’ East-West All-Star Game (1941 and 1946–1948), Irvin spent seven seasons with the Giants (1949–1955) and one with the Cubs, all after turning 30. He finished his major league career with 99 homers and a .293/.383/.475/125 OPS+ batting line, numbers that represent only the tip of the iceberg given what his immense talent might have yielded in a full career that included his prime years. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1973, and had his uniform number 20 retired by the Giants in June 2010.
This pioneer will be truly missed. May he rest in peace.