Monte Irvin was elected to the Hall of Fame – deservedly, in the opinion of most – in 1973. However, if you just went to Monte Irvin’s Major League stats page on Baseball-Reference, you might not know that this was one of the greatest ballplayers of the 1940’s. When Irvin entered Major League Baseball in 1949, he was 30 years old, and had spent his prime seasons in the relative obscurity of the Negro Leagues.
In 2010, when Strat-o-Matic released both the Negro League and ‘Hall of Fame 2010’ sets, I was hoping that Irvin would finally get his due. You see, when Irvin’s original Strat Hall of Fame card was released (in 2000), it was based strictly on his MLB stats, which seriously short-changed his career. With the release of these two new sets which included data mined from thousands of Negro League boxscores, I was really hoping we’d get a card with a better representation of his talent. We didn’t. Strat released the same old card for Irvin.
I have to thank Larry at the “Strato Matic” Facebook page for creating a card that should serve as a nice place-holder until the day Strat decides to create an official one.
Larry makes tons of cards for the community. He provides them all free of charge, for gameplay purposes only. Go to his Facebook page to find hundreds of cards, including many “Baseball Heroes” cards that were not included in Strat’s recently released set, and his greatest work in my opinion: a full Super-Advanced card version of the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers.
I personally appreciate that for most cards he releases both a Basic and a Super-Advanced version. For a guy like me who plays a hybrid version of the game, that is a tremendous service.
Scott Simkus, creator of the Strat-o-Matic Negro Leagues set and publisher of The Outsider Baseball Bulletin (and fellow Mysteryball manager!), provided some input for this Monte Irvin card, too. Scott is of the opinion (and who would know better?) that Monte Irvin as a shortstop was below-average by Major League standards.
Take a look and feel free to save the pics and print the card for yourself.