Dodgers great Don Newcombe dead at age 92

Don Newcombe

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On the day of his 20th win he hit his seventh home run of the season, a National League record for a pitcher at the time.

He is survived by his wife, Karen; children Don Newcombe Jr., Kelly Roxanne Newcombe and Brett Anthony Newcombe; and grandchildren Cayman and Riann.

The Dodgers released a statement this morning announcing Newcombe's passing.

For all his career accolades, Newcombe is considered one of the best pitchers in Dodgers history, while back in 2010, President Barack Obama honored Newcombe and Robinson for their courage, saying: "I would not be here if it were not for Jackie and Don Newcombe".

Instead, Newcombe and Campanella were sent to the Nashua (New Hampshire) Dodgers of the Class B New England League in 1946, making them the first US - based team in organized baseball in the 20th century to include black players. He went 112-48 for Brooklyn over six seasons he played from 1949-56. He would later become the first player to win the Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards.

GREENE: Newcombe believed he could have accomplished even more had he not suffered from alcoholism.

"Sometimes, I'd come to the park hungover", Newcombe said. Newcombe was removed from the game after facing two batters in the second inning. With Robinson, Campanella and Cleveland's Larry Doby, he was in the first group to integrate the All-Star game, making the National League team in 1949.

By the mid-1950s, though, the pressures both of stardom and the existing racial animus were wearing hard on Newcombe, and creating tension between him and his teammates.

GREENE: Don Newcombe died here in California yesterday just under 70 years after his first Major League Baseball game. "He chased me all over Los Angeles, trying to help me".

Newcombe's community service contributions include helping numerous others in their battles against substance abuse.

Newcombe went 20-5 in 1955, leading the league in winning percentage. Since 2009, he was a special advisor to the chairman.

The Dodgers clubhouse relied on Newcombe's batting ability, as well.

INSKEEP: Columnist Bill Plaschke says that attitude is what he'll remember about Newcombe.

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