Base­ball Hall of Famer Monte Irvin dies at 96

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - OBITUARIES -

Hall of Famer Monte Irvin, a power-hit­ting out­fielder who starred for the New York Gi­ants in the 1950s in a ca­reer ab­bre­vi­ated by ma­jor league base­ball’s ex­clu­sion of black play­ers, has died. He was 96.

The Hall of Fame said Irvin died Mon­day night of nat­u­ral causes at his Hous­ton home.

Irvin was 30 when he joined the Gi­ants in 1949, two years af­ter Jackie Robin­son broke the colour bar­rier. Irvin spent seven of his eight big league sea­sons with the Gi­ants and one year with the Chicago Cubs in 1956. Irvin played in the Ne­gro, Mex­i­can and Puerto Rican leagues dur­ing his 20s.

Irvin bat­ted .300 or more three times with a high of .329 in 1953. He fin­ished with a ca­reer av­er­age of .293 with 99 homers and 443 RBIs, num­bers that would have surely been far higher if not for the game’s racial seg­re­ga­tion.

Irvin was one of the most im­por­tant con­trib­u­tors dur­ing the Gi­ants’ amaz­ing pen­nant drive in 1951 when they over­took the Brook­lyn Dodgers af­ter trail­ing by 13 1-2 games in mid-Au­gust.

That year Irvin teamed with Hank Thomp­son and Mays to form the first all-black out­field in the ma­jors. He fin­ished third in the NL’s MVP vot­ing.

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