We remember Don Newcombe (1927-2019) who played in Cuba

We remember Don Newcombe who was born in Madison, New Jersey on this day in 1926. He died in 2019. Newcombe broke with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946 and won NL Rookie of the Year: 17-8, 19 complete games & 5 shutouts.

Like many future major leaguers, Newcombe played in Cuba. This is the story:

Newbombe played two winters in the Cuba: 1946-47 with Matanzas and 1948-49 with Marianao and Almendares, going a combeind 1-4 in nine appearances.

More importantly, Newcombe was with Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Roy Partow as members of the Montreal Royals team that conducted spring training in Cuba with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 as Robinson was preparing to break Major League Baseball’s color barrier.

After military service in 1952-53, Don became one of the best pitchers of the 1950’s, including winning 27-7, the NL MVP & Cy Young in 1956. He retired in 1960 with 149 wins, 136 complete games and 26 shutouts.

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