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In memoriam: Sports Stars Who Passed in 2019

Discussion in 'Diamond Gators' started by gatorjjh, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    More than a game
    In memoriam: Newcombe and Robinson were key in elevating black players, managers

    By Fred Lief Associated Press
    They ran the next legs, taking the baton from Jackie Robinson as black players claimed their place in the game.
    The deaths in 2019 of Don Newcombe and Frank Robinson left baseball not only without two pillars on the diamond but two pillars in its fight against inequity.
    Newcombe, a pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, knew the sting of segregation traveling from city to city. Martin Luther King Jr., it is said, thanked him for making his work easier.

    Frank Robinson dared any pitcher to throw it his way and later set the course for black managers, starting with the Indians in 1975.
    Sports also lost part of the core of two dynasties — Bart Starr of the Packers and John Havlicek of the Celtics. One was immortalized for a sneak, the other for a steal.

    Don Newcombe, 92
    He came out of the Negro leagues and played with Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella, the three putting baseball on a testing path.
    “We had to endure,” he said.
    In his first season in 1949, Newcombe went 17-8 and was the NL rookie of the year. He won 20 games three times.

    When that luminous day came for the Dodgers in 1955 — a World Series title after so many maddening Octobers — Newcombe was there. He went 20-5 that year, homering on the day of his 20th win. He was one of the best hitting pitchers.

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