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Don Newcombe
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Baseball Player
    (June 14, 1926-February 19, 2019)
    Born in Madison, New Jersey
    Right-handed starting pitcher (batted Left)
    Played for the Brooklyn / Los Angeles Dodgers (1949–51, 1954–58), Cincinnati Reds (1958–60), Cleveland Indians (1960) and Chunichi Dragons (Nippon Professional League, 1962)
    National League Rookie of the Year (1949)
    National League Most Valuable Player (1956)
    First Cy Young Award Winner (1956)
    149 wins, 90 losses, 1,129 strikeouts, and 3.56 earned run average
    Director of Community Affairs for the Dodgers (as of late 1970s)
    Head of Don Newcombe Enterprises (public relations firm)
    He was nicknamed ‘Newk’ (can you say ‘nuke ’em’?).
    Once the Dodgers relocated in 1958, he started the season with six losses and no wins — and got traded midseason.
    He wore two different uniform numbers with Cincinnati (#30 when he arrived, his usual #36 before he left for Cleveland).
    His first wife – with whom he had no children – died of alcoholism, while his fellow players were later shocked to learn he was a ‘drunken bum.’
    So bad was his boozing (which he learned through his working-class parents) that he ended up all but penniless and had to pawn a prized World Series ring just to pay his bills.
    At age 15, he was six feet and 200 pounds (he eventually grew four inches taller).
    He was on the first Dodgers team ever to win a World Series (1955; included 32 straight innings without allowing a run).
    He joined Larry Doby as the first Major League Baseball players to enter the Japanese leagues.
    Sober since 1967, he was instrumental in assisting civilians and enlisted alike in their own substance abuse battles.
    His younger son, by his second wife, went on to Little League (and a .726 batting average).
    At a fundraising event for a senator, he scored Barack Obama’s personal seal of approval: ‘I would not be here if it were not for Jackie and it were not for Don Newcombe.’

Credit: Cool It All Right?

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