A Question Too Late for Monte Irvin

 

1946 Newark Eagles World Championship Ring Owned by Player, Chris Cole Sold at Auction in 2010

1946 Newark Eagles
World Championship Ring
Owned by Player, Cecil Cole
Sold at Auction in 2010

 

We are hoping that someone asked Monte Irvin these questions prior to this sad week of his passing: “Did you ever own a 1946 Newark Eagles World Championship ring? If so, what happened to it, Monte? If not, how do you explain the Cecil Cole ’46 ring that surfaced for a 2010 auction by his family? It reportedly sold for $11,750.

The auction site claims that the Cole 1946 ring “is the only Negro League World Championship ring we have ever seen. We have no idea if others have survived, or if all players on the team even received one.”

Monte Irvin was living in a Houston retirement community by the time of the 1910 ring auction. Did anyone from the auction site try to contact Monte to see what he knew about the Cecil Cole ring?

Maybe someone among you knows the answers here. If not, here’s the auction site link for anyone else interested in getting to the truth about the rarity of the Cecil Cole 1946 Negro League World Championship ring. It’s hard to imagine only one of these precious artifacts as the sole survivor of rings ever awarded – not merely to the 1946 Newark Eagles, but to all Negro League championship teams for all time.

http://www.robertedwardauctions.com/auction/2010/1723.html#photos

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Same Chris Cole Ring Side View

Same Cecil Cole Ring
Side View

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3 Responses to “A Question Too Late for Monte Irvin”

  1. Sumner Hunnewell Says:

    Hi! No mention of it in his autobiography, Nice Guys Finish First. “I think for winning the Series, we each received six hundred bucks.” (p. 107)

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Sumner, Your reminder of Monte Irvin’s Page 107 statement from his biography simply reinforces another possibility here, even though there is no known evidence of it.

      Cecil Cole was a lesser light member of the 1946 Newark Eagles and may also have carried with him a greater need for recognition of his membership on a world championship team.

      Cole may have used his winnings to quietly have a championship ring made for himself and then told his family that the team gave it to him. And who knows? Maybe he kept the whole thing secret from his teammates – or maybe not. He may even have suggested that some of them do the same.

      Whatever happened, the mystery about the scarcity of this ring sure didn’t hurt its later value on the baseball artifact collectors’ market.

  2. Sumner Hunnewell Says:

    Nothing in the Riley book (Dandy, Day, and the Devil) [Leon Day being on the team], nor in Moore’s biography of Larry Doby (Pride Against Prejudice), though there is a reference to “When the Eagles returned from Jacksonville to Newark to open their 1947 season in early May, three days of heavy rain forced the cancellation of gala opening day festivities.” (p. 36) Whatever the festivities were, they were described in the New Jersey Afro-American (May 10, 1947).

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