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Dodgers’ Legend Don Newcombe Has Passed Away

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 02: Dodger great Don Newcombe is introduced during the Old-Timers game before the Dodgers-Rockies game in Los Angeles, CA on Saturday, July 2, 2016. (Photo by Scott Varley/Digital First Media/Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty Images)

The  Los Angeles Dodgers have lost another member of their illustrious organization. Don Newcombe, one of the Dodgers’ pitching greats, has passed away. Newcombe was 92 at the time of his passing.

Donald Newcombe played for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers for parts of eight seasons. He was active in Major League Baseball for twelve years but spent 1952 and 1953 serving in the military during the Korean War.

Newcombe made his major league debut with the Dodgers in 1949. Before signing with Brooklyn, he has played just one season in the Negro Leagues. Newk, as they called him, was the third African American pitcher to play in the major leagues, following Dan Bankhead and Satchel Paige. In his first season of action, Newcome was dominant. He appeared in 38 games tossing a combined 244 innings and allowing just a 3.17 earned run average. He won the Rookie of the Year Award that season and was one of the first four African American players to be named an All-Star.

Newcombe would go on to make three more All-Star appearances after his rookie campaign.  He also won the MVP Award to go along with a Cy Young award in a ridiculous 1956 season. That year, he threw 268 innings and allowed a low 3.06 ERA and the lowest WHIP of his career at 0.989. Newcombe won the World Series with Brooklyn in 1955, appearing in just one game for the Dodgers.

Life After Baseball

Most recently, Newk held a position with the Dodgers as a special advisor to the team. He was seen all over Chavez Ravine talking with reporters, players, front office personnel, and many more. Kenley Jansen was well known to have chats with Don before and after games, and will no doubt have plenty to say about his legacy.

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Wow I’m very sad today I hope the Dodgers honor this not only great Dodger but also a great man and example to everyone of all colors.
    As I was heading home from work today I heard the news on a San Fancisco Bay Area radio station and as the news began it was the first thing they announced. The news broke my heart. I did not know him personally but all the interviews and clips where I heard him speak he had great and awesome class. May God give Don Newcombe rest.He carried himself with one whe deserves respect (He had mine)
    Chris372a (San Francisco Dodger fan)

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