Former Negro League & MLB player Monte Irvin passed away yesterday at the age of 96.
Irvin's baseball career would begin in 1938 with the Newark Eagles at the age of 19 and would play with them through 1948 except for a three year stint in the Army where he served in Europe with the GS Engineers, 1313th Battalion.
When he returned to the States, Brooklyn Dodgers President & General Manager Branch Rickey approached him about the possibility of being the first African-American to play in MLB. However, Irvin felt he was rusty after being away from baseball for three years and declined. Of course, Rickey would ultimately sign Jackie Robinson.