Last night was the first home game since the new group took ownership and a new era of Dodger baseball began. Jackie Robinson's widow, Sharon, attended. And that handsome man throwing out the first pitch is Don Newcombe.
Big Newk was the major's first black pitcher after Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier. Newcombe, who started out in the Negro Leagues, would be a Rookie of the Year and win a League MVP, a World Series ring and was the first Cy Young Award winner.
Newcombe (and Roy Campanella) helped ease Jackie Robinson's incredible lonileness during the pioneer's second season.
It's great to see Don Newcombe honored last night. In 1946, society said he couldn't play major league baseball, but he fought for his country in the Korean War in 1949 and 1950. I've said it before: what Jackie Robinson did in 1947 helped transform American society. And those who immediately followed, like Don Newcombe, helped him do it.
Heres's a great article on Newcombe.