Rookie Card Year: 1951
Investment Rating: 6.5
Monte Irvin was one of the first players to sign a Major League contract after Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color line in 1947. He had played several years for the Newark Eagles of the Negro Leagues before joining the New York Giants in 1949. His historical significance to the game makes Monte Irvin cards and autographed memorabilia highly valued by vintage collectors.
Irvin has two rookie cards, 1951 Bowman and 1951 Topps Red Backs. His Bowman issue is the more highly desired of the two. This is due to the fact that, while still highly collectible, the 1951 Topps Red Backs are simply seen as an inferior product to Bowman.
Monte Irvin's first autographed card was issued in 1992 Front Row. It is not serial numbered and is known to be relatively rare. One of his more popular early autograph cards, and the first to be released by a major trading card manufacturer, is his 1997 Topps Stars Rookie Reprint card.
His first memorabilia card debuted in 2005 Topps Pristine Legends. It features a piece of an Irvin game-used bat. A parallel to the card also exists that is serial numbered to 25.
Monte Irvin's autographed memorabilia is plentiful. He participated in numerous autograph signings during his post-retirement life and was a willing in-person signer during his playing days.
Monte Irvin Rookie Cards
The 1951 Bowman card set is one of the most iconic baseball card sets ever produced. Many notable rookies, including Mickey Mantle, have cards in the set. Unlike other former Negro League players who never had a rookie card, Irvin's inclusion adds to the set's historical significance in the hobby.
The 1951 Topps Redbacks set was designed as a card game. Playing Monte Irvin's card earned the player a "double." This card is not nearly as popular as Irvin's Bowman issue.
Monte Irvin Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Monte Irvin's authentic signature looks like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well-respected professional autograph authentication company. Some of the trusted sources within the sports memorabilia market include the following companies: PSA, JSA, Steiner, Mounted Memories and Tristar. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.
Monte Irvin Cut Signature Exemplar:
Monte Irvin Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Monte Irvin signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:
- The signature is written on an even horizontal plane in cursive with a slight lean to the right.
- The letters "M" and "I" are larger than the other letters.
- The "M" starts with a small loop at the top, left-hand side before starting the down strokes and humps. The first hump is slightly rounded and the second is pointed. Both are narrowly spaced.
- The "o" forms a narrow oval opening.
- The "n" is more implied than discernible.
- The vertical line of the "t" makes a tall narrow loop and is crossed at the very top.
- The "I" starts in a similar fashion as the "M" but with a more rounded loop.
- All of the letters of the last name are legible.
- The "i" is typically not dotted.
Monte Irvin Signed Baseball Pricing
Monte Irvin Signed Photograph Pricing
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