Monte Irvin, a Negro leagues star who turned down a chance to break baseball's color barrier but went on to a Hall of Fame career with the New York Giants, has died. He was 96.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum said Irvin died Monday night of natural causes at his Houston home.
Jackie Robinson became the pioneer African American in modern-day baseball. But, had World War II not broken out, Irvin probably would have been the one.
An outstanding young player with the Newark Eagles of the Negro National League — his skills were favorably compared to those of Joe DiMaggio — Irvin was first on Negro leagues executives' unofficial list to integrate...