Don Newcombe, RIP

charlieoscar

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Sep 28, 2014
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Newcombe pitched for the Newark Eagles of the Negro leagues and was picked to start a game against an all-white team in 1945. Had hadn't allowed any hits but had to leave the game in the third inning because of a hurt elbow. He cried in the dugout thinking he had missed his opportunity to impress scouts. Branch Rickey offered him a contract with a $1000 signing bonus and Newcombe ended up playing in Nashua, NH, then Montreal, before he made his debut with the Dodgers in 1949 becoming the first successful Black starter. He also had a bat--.271 with a .705 OPS to go along with 149 wins and 90 losses in his 10-year career that ended with the Reds and the Indians. He was Rookie of the Year and later earned the first Cy Young award and also MVP in 1956. Unfortunately, he developed a problem with alcohol, which undoubtedly shortened his career; however, he later headed the Dodgers' drug-and-alcohol abuse program.
 

Al Zarilla

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Newcombe pitched for the Newark Eagles of the Negro leagues and was picked to start a game against an all-white team in 1945. Had hadn't allowed any hits but had to leave the game in the third inning because of a hurt elbow. He cried in the dugout thinking he had missed his opportunity to impress scouts. Branch Rickey offered him a contract with a $1000 signing bonus and Newcombe ended up playing in Nashua, NH, then Montreal, before he made his debut with the Dodgers in 1949 becoming the first successful Black starter. He also had a bat--.271 with a .705 OPS to go along with 149 wins and 90 losses in his 10-year career that ended with the Reds and the Indians. He was Rookie of the Year and later earned the first Cy Young award and also MVP in 1956. Unfortunately, he developed a problem with alcohol, which undoubtedly shortened his career; however, he later headed the Dodgers' drug-and-alcohol abuse program.
Nice post, Charlie. Like I said in the “these people died thread”, he was at the WS games in LA last year, or some of them, still looking great. Newcombe started the decisive game 3 of the 1951 playoffs vs the Giants which ended with the shot heard ‘round the world home run by Bobby Thomson. RIP big guy.
 

soxfaninyankeeland

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Nice post, Charlie. Like I said in the “these people died thread”, he was at the WS games in LA last year, or some of them, still looking great. Newcombe started the decisive game 3 of the 1951 playoffs vs the Giants which ended with the shot heard ‘round the world home run by Bobby Thomson. RIP big guy.
Willie Mays is now the only living player who appeared in that game.
 

Hendu for Kutch

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Don Newcombe and Roy Campanella broke America's minor league color barrier in Nashua. Jackie Robinson broke the minor league barrier, but he did it playing in Montreal. Newcombe and Campanella each have a street outside Holman Stadium named in their honor and their numbers are retired by the local summer collegiate league team. Growing up here, it's something that the city was always very proud of.

Here's a quick history of the Nashua Dodgers and why Nashua was picked to be the place this would happen, if you're interested - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nashua_Dodgers
 

Light-Tower-Power

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I'm also from Nashua and Hendu is right about the integrated Dodgers being a big point of pride for the city.


Edit: I tried to post a picture of the Don Newcombe/Roy Campanella mural in downtown Nashua but the site is not cooperating.

 

Light-Tower-Power

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Yep! It has been there for as long as I can remember. Right on the side of the Maynard and Lesieur tire building across from city hall. A cool part of history in what is actually a pretty cool city.
 

charlieoscar

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Sep 28, 2014
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More than anything, he was strong. Witness his performance in Chicago one day when the catcalls were particularly loud.
[Jackie] Robinson visited the mound and told him, "Hey, sometimes if the ball slips out of your hands, and goes up under the batter's chin, don't feel bad, because they don't feel bad when they throw at me and Roy."
Newcombe knocked down the next seven batters, leading to his ejection from the game despite his unique protests.
"I said, 'You can't throw me out until I get the other two,'" he recalled.
---from today's N.H. Union Leader's reprint of a Los Angeles Times column by Bill Plaschke, reminiscing about his relationship with Don Newcombe.