1919 - 2016
Honestly, this is a card I should have made a long time ago. It would have fit in well with a series I did a while back of tribute cards. Cards that are made the year after the player has retire. Irvin played his final MLB year in a Cubs uniform. Chicago claimed him in the rule 5 draft after the Giants demoted him in 1955. After the 1956 year with the Cubs, Monte tried to extend his career with the Los Angeles Angels, a minor league affiliate of the then Brooklyn Dodgers. Unfortunately, back injuries led to his ultimate retirement from the field, but he didn't leave the game behind. He was later a scout for the Mets, then worked in the Commissioner's office. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1973 and in 2010 the Giants retired his number 20.
This is not the first card I created for Monte Irvin. I also made this 1949 Bowman card of him as part of my New York Giants Fan Favorites list. He and Hank Thompson broke the color barrier for the Giants on the same day in 1949. At the time of his death, Irvin was the oldest living Negro League player at 96.