Hall of Famer Monte Irvin dies at 96

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Monte Irvin as a New York Giant (Photo by Sporting News/Sporting News via Getty Images)

HOUSTON — Hall of Famer Monte Irvin, a power-hitting outfielder who starred for the New York Giants in the 1950s in a career abbreviated by major league baseball’s exclusion of black players, has died. He was 96.

The Hall of Fame said Irvin died Monday night of natural causes at his Houston home.

Irvin was 30 when he joined the Giants in 1949, two years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. Irvin spent seven of his eight big league seasons with the Giants and one year with the Chicago Cubs in 1956. A native of Haleburg, Alabama, Irvin played in the Negro, Mexican and Puerto Rican leagues during his 20s.

Irvin finished with a career average of .293 and 99 homers in the majors.

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