Monte Irvin Breaks the Color Barrier With the New York Giants (July 8, 1949)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS AND AWARDS:
- National Negro League Batting Champion (1941, 1946)
- 4x NgL All-Star (1941, 1946-1948)
- MLB All-Star (1952)
- Negro World Series winner (1946)
- World Series Champion (1954)
- National League RBI Leader (1951)
- San Francisco Giants retired jersey No. 20
- National Baseball Hall of Fame 1973
Monford Merrill “Monte” Irvin, who played with the Newark Eagles (1938-42, 1945-48), was a champion long before his historic New York Giants debut.
This four-time Negro Leagues All-Star dazzled fans north and south of the border as the 1942 Mexican League batting champion with a .397 average, the 1945-46 Puerto Rican Winter League “MVP,” and as a two-time batting champion with the Newark Eagles. His hitting prowess (401) helped the Eagles win the 1946 Negro World Series.
On July 8, 1949, Irvin, at 30-years-old, walked on the field as a New York Giant. He played a critical role in the Giants’ 1951 and 1954 World Series contests. In 1951, although the New York Yankees defeated the Giants (4-2), he tied a World Series record with 11 hits and a .458 series-high batting average. He went on to hit .262 with 19 home runs and 64 RBI during the 1954 season and played a key role in the Giants’ pennant win and its four-game World Series victory against the Cleveland Indians. He retired in 1957 and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973.