TSL Black History Month: Diamond Legends 

Monte Irvin, the greatest living Negro Leagues baseball player turned 95 years old in 2014. That name may not resonate with todays baseball fans, but it should. Irvin is another black barrier-breaker and trendsetter, who used sports as a weapon to bridge races, communities and eventually nations.

Irvin, a native of Haleburg, Alabama who grew up in Orange, New Jersey, was one of the first black players to be signed after Jackie Robinson integrated baseball with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. He was a baseball beast who shined both with the Newark Eagles in the Negro Leagues, where he was a teammate of Larry Doby, the first player to break the color barrier in the American League, and with the NY Giants in the National League.


JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.