Letters to the Editor

Orange Mayor Warren: Remembering Monford Merrill "Monte" Irvin 

The City of Orange Township lost one of its favorite sons in Monte Irvin, who passed from this life on Monday, January 11, 2016. The flag in the front of City Hall will be flown at half-staff to memorialize this home-grown pioneer.

As a child, Mr. Irvin grew up in Orange, to later become just one of five players who grew up in New Jersey to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In the pantheon of professional sports, few can claim the resume of this Hall of Fame standout. Mr. Irvin will be remembered for his athletic ability and baseball prowess across multiple positions; he was both a prodigious hitter and outfielder. Mr. Irvin's accomplishments were achieved despite spending a large portion of his career in the Negro Leagues, and putting his career on hold in order to serve his country during World War II. 

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Despite the shackles of racism, Mr Irvin produced stats that any professional athlete could envy: he batted .293, with 99 home runs, 443 RBI, 366 runs scored, 731 hits, 97 doubles, 31 triples, and 28 stolen bases, with 351 walks for a .383 on-base percentage, and 1187 total bases for a .475 slugging average in 764 games played. 

His accomplishments off the field were equally impressive. Mr. Irvin's appointment as a MLB public relations executive made him the first black executive in professional baseball history. 

On the playing field and in the boardroom, Monty Irvin was a trailblazer for generations of athletes to come. We choose not to mourn the loss of a native son, but celebrate a rich life that inspires us all. 

Yours In Service,

Dwayne D. Warren, Esq.

Mayor, City of Orange Township

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

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