Mark Langill – Happy Birthday Newk!
Hard to believe Don Newcombe turns 80 today. The former Dodger right-hander is the only player in baseball history to have won the three major awards during his career — Rookie of the Year (1949), Cy Young Award (1956) and Most Valuable Player (1956). This season marks the 50th anniversary of Newcombe capturing the first-ever Cy Young Award, posting a 27-7 record for the N.L. champion Brooklyn Dodgers.
Newcombe remains active with the Dodgers as the team’s longtime Director of Community Relations. He is also a vital link to a critical time in baseball history when Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier with the Dodgers in 1947. Newcombe played with the Negro League Newark Eagles and joined the Dodgers in 1949. He pitched a shutout in his debut and was a member of the N.L. All-Star team. That game, played at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, featured the first appearance of black players – Newcombe, Robinson, catcher Roy Campanella and Larry Doby of the Cleveland Indians.
While Major League Baseball annually salutes Robinson’s historic debut on April 15, 1947, Newcombe had a distinguished career of his own, both on the playing field and in the front office. He also played a major role in helping counsel those with substance abuse problems.