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Don Newcombe
Newk's Stellar Career
Wild Pennant Race
1951 Season Finale
Dodgers Struggle Early
Newcombe Returns
Newcombe Blanks Phils
Strategy of Pitching
Jackie Robinson's
Greatest Catch
Robinson Homer Wins It
Newcombe, Robinson
Heroes
Q & A



Don Newcombe  
By Robert Schweppe

The game is nearly lost to history.
Many who saw the game consider it to be one of the greatest games ever played in baseball history. The New York Times was so moved by the game it felt compelled to write an editorial.
“The Dodgers and Phillies gave us an afternoon that just about rocked the nation,” the editiorial said.
The date is September 30, 1951, the last day of the regular season.
The game had everything. On the final day of the regular season, a team, battling in an excruciatingly tight pennant race, is in a must-win situation. The team is behind in the game in the last innings on the road. Then, there is a late-inning rally, stalwart relief pitching, a miracle fielding play, and in the final inning, a dramatic home run to win the game.
And, without this game, without a pitching performance that can only be described as heroic and a player that one writer said of him “the unconquerable did the impossible” baseball history would pay minimal regard to Bobby Thomson.
Instead, attention must be paid and deservedly so, to Don Newcombe and one of the greatest pitching performances in Dodger history.
Newcombe had one of the stellar pitching careers in a Dodger uniform. He won 20 games three times in six seasons. He is the only major league player ever to win the three significant awards, Rookie of the Year in 1949 and the Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player in the National League in 1956.
Newcombe is one of a few major league pitchers to start both games of a doubleheader. When he started Game 1 of the 1949 World Series, he was only the second rookie pitcher to accomplish this feat and he was the first African-American pitcher to start a World Series game. He set a National League record for home runs by a pitcher in 1955. He once stole home on a straight steal.
Newcombe has been the Dodgers’ director of community services since 1970 and he has traveled the world speaking to groups regarding the dangers of alcohol abuse. He has received honors from Major League Baseball, the city of Los Angeles, the State of California and the President of the United States for his volunteer work.
And now, for the first time, Newcombe tells the story of his incredible pitching performance in the final two games of the 1951 season and how Jackie Robinson played his greatest game.






Don Newcombe won the Major League Cy Young Award and the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1956, following his 27-win season for the Dodgers.


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