by Carlos E. Castañeda

WASHINGTON (CBS SF) — Baseball Hall of Famer Monte Irvin, a member of the former New York Giants and the oldest living former Negro Leagues player, was a special guest of the San Francisco Giants during the World Series champions’ traditional visit to the White House Thursday.

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Last month when the Giants presented Irvin with a World Series ring, he told team officials he would love the opportunity to meet President Obama during the team’s White House visit.

The 96-year-old Irvin was among the first African American players to join Major League Baseball in 1949 when the New York Giants signed him for $5,000.

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He won a World Series Championship with the Giants in 1954 and served as a mentor to Willie Mays when Mays joined the team in 1951. Irvin was also a Negro Leagues World Series champion in 1946.

Irvin and Mays were seated on the dais next to the podium in the White House East Room during the event where the President recognized the Giants’ third World Series title in five years.

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In 2010, the Giants retired Irvin’s #20 uniform number and the Houston resident continues to follow Giants games regularly.