Many believed Monte Irvin would become the first to break baseball’s color barrier. No less an authority than HoFer Effa Manley owner of Irvin’s Newark Eagles has this to say, “Monte was the choice of all Negro National and American League club owners to serve as the No. 1 player to join a white major league team.”
Though Irvin did not join the big leagues until two years after Jackie Robinson’s debut, he made his presence felt. As a Major Leaguer, Irvin earned a World Series ring after playing in both the 1951 and 1954 Fall Classics.
The former All Star also led the league in runs batted in during the 1951 campaign. He was rewarded for his efforts in the Negro and Major Leagues by his induction into Cooperstown in 1973.
In the collection is a handwritten letter to Hall of Fame sportswriter Joe Reichler who gained fame as editor of the baseball encyclopedia.