Description1946 Josh Gibson & Monte Irvin Original Photograph (PSA/DNA Type 1) Hand Notated by Irvin from The Monte Irvin Collection.
UPDATE: Photo has been deemed Type 1 by PSA/DNA.
Here we present the proverbial "passing of the torch" among Negro League sluggers. Josh Gibson, with the years of hard living and baseball showing, appears with young slugger Monte Irvin. The snapshot (3x4.5") was captured in San Juan, Puerto Rico when both were playing baseball. Sadly, Gibson would be dead not long after this photo was obtained. The image was in Irvin's personal collection of baseball photos. "Josh Gibson + Monte Irvin San Juan PR 1946" is written, presumably in Irvin's hand, on the reverse. "Velox 04" is rubber stamped on back. Letter of provenance from Monte Irvin's daughter. LOA from PSA/DNA, Type 1.
The Monte Irvin Collection
The story of Jackie Robinson is one of the most important in the annals of American sports history, but that tale is diminished in no way by the insistence that Robinson did not shoulder the weight of history alone. It was only fifteen months after Robinson's debut that the great Monte Irvin made his own, the fourth African-American to wear the uniform of a Major League team, and the first in the history of the Giants franchise.
Certainly the fight for acceptance, much less equality, was far from over when Irvin took his first brave steps into the maelstrom but, like Robinson, his steady resolve and extraordinary talents were essential tools in righting the sport's most grievous wrong. He remains one of the most significant athletes of any American sport active during the post-war era.
The lots that follow derive from Mr. Irvin's personal collection, covering a wide range of decades from his youth in the Negro Leagues through his 1973 Hall of Fame induction, and onward through the closing years of his long life as one of baseball's great ambassadors. Each lot will be accompanied by a letter of provenance from Irvin's daughter.
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