Dodgers great Don Newcombe has died at the age of 92.
Newcombe was one of the first African-American pitchers in major league baseball, and was the first African-American pitcher who pitched in the majors in his prime. He began in the Negro Leagues in 1944 but moved to the majors in 1949 at the age of 22, winning the Rookie of the Year Award and helping the Brooklyn Dodgers win the NL pennant. He also joined Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Larry Doby as the first African-American players in the All-Star Game that season.
Newcombe went 20-5 with a 3.20 ERA as the ace of the Dodgers staff in 1955, leading the club to its first ever World Series title. His best season came in 1956 when he won 27 games, winning both the Cy Young Award and the National League MVP Award.
1956 was certainly Newcombe’s peak, and after a decline that he’d later attribute to alcohol abuse, he finished his 10-year MLB career with stints in Cincinnati and Cleveland, calling it quits after the 1960 season with a 149-90 record and 3.56 ERA. He was a four-time All-Star.
A statement released by the Dodgers:
Rest in peace to a legend.
The Red Sox salvaged the final game of their three-game home series against the Astros, winning 4-3 on Sunday afternoon. In doing so, they ended the Astros’ 10-game winning streak.
Xander Bogaerts struck the decisive blow, knocking in a run with a double in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie. Michael Chavis also hit another homer — his eighth of the season — while Mookie Betts collected three hits and scored three runs to raise his OPS to .899.
The Astros last lost on May 7 against the Royals, the second game of a three-game series. The Astros won the final game of that set, then swept the Rangers in a four-game series, the Tigers in three, and won the first two games against the Red Sox. It’s their second 10-game winning streak of the season, as they won 10 striaght between April 5-16, sweeping the Athletics, Yankees, and Mariners before losing the second of two games against the A’s in Oakland.
At 31-16, the Astros are slightly behind the Twins — in progress as of this writing — for the best winning percentage in the majors. The Red Sox, meanwhile, have made up some ground after ending April 13-17. They’re now 24-22, good for third place in the AL East.