Thursday, April 18, 2024


Today we go and add the very first recipient of the Cy Young Award, Brooklyn Dodgers ace Don Newcombe, to my custom "Classic Baseball" set:

Just a beautiful photo of the original Black Ace, the first African-American 20-game winner in either the American or National Leagues, when he first turned in 20 wins in 1951.
The N.L. Rookie of the Year in 1949 when he posted 17 wins for the Dodgers, he followed that up with 19 wins in 1950 before the first of his three 20-win seasons the following year.
Sadly for him, he would spend the next two years in the military, losing two peak seasons to serving his country before coming back in 1954 when he would go 9-8 over 29 games.
In 1955 he'd be in the 20-win circle once again, helping the Dodgers win the World Series as he would go 20-5 and finishing seventh in the MVP race, the last year without an Award dedicated to pitchers.
And then came 1956...
For Don Newcombe, 1956 was a magical year. He was a monster on the mound, going 27-7 with a 3.06 earned run average and five shutouts and leading the Dodgers to another face-off with the New York Yankees in the World Series.
Not only did that get him the very first Cy Young Award, but it also bagged him a Most Valuable Player Award, thus making him the answer to a clever trivia question: who was the only pitcher to win a Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and M.V.P.? (He would be joined in this by Detroit Tiger pitcher Justin Verlander in 2011).
Sadly for him however, it would be the peak, followed by a quick decline at only 31 years of age, winning 11 games in 1957 before managing just 26 wins over the last three years of his career, which came to a close in 1960 after a split year between the Cincinnati reds and Cleveland Indians.
All told, the man won the aforementioned awards while posting 153 wins against just 96 losses, good for a very nice .614 winning percentage, with a 3.57 earned run average and 24 shutouts over 360 games.



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