Monford Merrill "Monte" Irvin (born February 25, 1919) is a former left fielder and right fielder in the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball (MLB) who played with the Newark Eagles (1938–42, 46-48), New York Giants (1949–55) and Chicago Cubs (1956). He grew up in New Jersey and was a standout football player at Lincoln University. Irvin left Lincoln to spend several seasons in Negro league baseball. His career was interrupted by military service from 1943 to 1945.
When joined the New York Giants, Irvin became one of the earliest African-American MLB players. He played in two World Series for the Giants and was selected to five MLB All-Star Games in four seasons. When future Hall of Famer Willie Mays joined the Giants in 1951, Irvin was asked to mentor him. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973. After his playing career, Irvin was a baseball scout and held an administrative role with the MLB commissioner's office.
As of January 2015, Irvin is the oldest living former Negro Leagues player. He lives in a retirement community in Houston.
By Dean Hanley
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