Quick post on Don Newcombe, one of the last remaining Brooklyn Dodgers and Negro League players, sadly passing today at 92.
Newcombe “Firsts”: NL Rookie of the Year. Cy Young Award. African-American pitcher in the All-Star Game, to start a WS game, to win 20. HRs hit by an NL pitcher in a season. With stats like these, tough, trailblazing “Newk” is tops in our book too.
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4 thoughts on “In Memoriam: Don Newcombe”
You’re so right, Tom. “Big Newk” was quite a pitcher. He volunteered to pitch both games of a twin bill against the “Whiz Kids” Phillies on Sept. 6, 1950. The result was a three hit shutout in the first game and seven innings in the night cap, allowing only two runs.
Don conquered an addiction to alcohol, but was occasionally hung over while on the mound. He once exited a game and colorful Ebbets Field PA announcer, Tex Rickard announced, “Don Newcombe is leaving the game. He doesn’t feel so good.”
Yogi hit everything Newk threw but Don would have been a HOFer if he never hit the bottle. I remember growing up in Newark, NJ and passing Newcombe’s bar on Orange Street when I was a little kid. My Dad would say the bottle ruined Don Newcombe but Newk did a lot of good later in life for recovering alcoholics and in providing community service for the Dodgers for many years. He was a good man who stood behind Al Campanis when Al was unjustly crucified by many. A solid pitcher, human being and citizen. God bless him.
Thanks for your remembrances Jim. Newcombe had his tough times but made it through the other side and became a great ambassador for the Dodgers and the game. He will be missed.
Great entry Bill. I love your NYC baseball recollections. Masterpieces!