Friday, March 19, 2010
The Nitty Gritty Card of the Day-1952 Bowman Don Newcombe
Welcome to the Nitty Gritty Card of the Day! This wasn’t what I had planned for tonight’s post, but a forgotten flash drive has limited my options. I had a scan of this card front and back saved on my hard drive as a reminder that I used to own it. The card is number 128 from the 1952 Bowman baseball set of Dodgers pitcher Don Newcombe. I loved the picture on this card. He looks so fed up, disinterested, frustrated and angry all at once. Like he just recieved the news he was going to Korea. Newk won the National League’s Rookie of the Year Award in 1949 and was an All Star in each of his first 3 seasons before missing the entire 1952 and 1953 seasons for military service. He came back rusty in 1954, but he returned to his All Star form in 1955, winning 20 games again on the mound and batting .359 with 7 homers while leading the Brooklyn Dodgers to their FIRST World Championship. The following year he had a historic season, winning 27 games and the National League’s Most Valuable Player Award. He was also named the first ever Major League Baseball Cy Young Award Winner. He is the only player to win the Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and MVP Awards. In ’56 the Dodgers repeated as NL Champs, but fell to the Yankees in the Series. That would be the last time Newk would win 20 games, in fact his highest win total after that was 13 games. The Dodgers traded Newk to the Reds in 1958 where he played till 1960 when he signed with the Indians. He retired from the majors after the 1960 season at 34 years of age. He had a career record of 149-90. That is just one win less win than Hall of Famer Dizzy Dean. His career is another that makes fans wonder “what if?” he had not loss two full seasons in the prime of his career to military service. Incidentally, Newcombe has received several votes to be the next player I collect. He does have some very pricey cards, including this one of one listed on eBay for a BIN price of $275.00. He also has a long name with a manufactured patch card for each letter which could be tough to track down, not to mention he played in the 40s and is in 1952 Topps and has Cy Young duel autographed cards paired with Whitey Ford. Whether I collect him or not, here is one card I want to track down, cuz I do LOVE refractors! Either way, the choice is up to you the reader. Thanks for reading! (image borrowed from an auction site) 58 years, LATER!