Sport: Bad Break

"I only wish," said Giant Outfielder Monte Irvin last year, "that I'd had my chance to play in the big leagues ten years ago. I was 22 then and twice the ballplayer I am now. I could run faster and throw harder. My reflexes were sharper, and I could make a lot more use of my power."

Irvin's performances in the Negro National League back up his modest boast. But not until Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color line did fleet-footed Monte Irvin get his chance. By that time he was 28.

At first, his chances looked...

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