Posnanski: Remembering Monte Irvin

From SABR member Joe Posnanski at NBC Sports on January 13, 2016:

Monte Irvin and Buck O’Neil remembered their time in the Negro Leagues very differently. Monte Irvin remembered rickety buses that broke down. Buck O’Neil remembered rides that felt like clouds crossing the sky. Irvin remembered bumpy fields and dirt where grass belonged and broken glass. O’Neil remembered grass outfields as green as emeralds. Irvin remembered bounced checks and restaurants that refused to serve blacks and endless road trips with a long and exhausting trail of games. O’Neil remembered the sweet smell of barbecue, the sounds of midnight jazz and some of the best baseball he would ever see.

I asked Buck O’Neil once why they recalled such divergent times.

Buck said this: “Because Monte was a great player. And I was just good.”

When I asked why that should make such a difference, he shook his head sadly, “I might have played in the big leagues, I think, but I wouldn’t have been a star. Monte would have been a star. The world didn’t miss out on me. But the world missed out on Monte Irvin.”

Read the full article here: http://sportsworld.nbcsports.com/monte-irvin-legend/

Originally published: January 13, 2016. Last Updated: January 13, 2016.