I was sorry to hear about the passing of Irv Noren, a fine hitting outfielder who achieved most of his fame with the fabled Yankees of the 1950s, as a fill-in successor to the just-retired Joe DiMaggio, when the truly-anointed successor, Mickey Mantle, still suffered from an injury in the 1951 World Series (getting out of Joe D's way on a ball hit by Willie Mays). The Yankees of that era often picked up key pieces of their teams from the less successful American League teams, in this case, Noren came from the hapless Washington Senators of the early 50s.
Noren had played pro basketball in the 1940s alongside Jackie Robinson on an integrated team before Jackie's Dodger historic stint began. Noren had a great rookie season with the Senators in 1950 (with 160 hits, 10 triples, 14 home runs, 98 runs batted in, and a .295 average; he hit .319 for Yankees, and made the All-Star team in 1954). His salary for the Yanks in 1952 was a meager $19,000, and the stingy Yanks first offered him a $2000 raise. But he went on to be part of three Yankees championship teams, and a third-base coach on two championship Oakland A's teams in the 70s. Noren's career as a player in the majors spanned eleven seasons and six teams and he played all outfield positions and first base, and he had a respectable lifetime batting average of .275. Irv Noren was a modest yet talented utility player who journeyed after his time as a key piece of a legendary franchise.