On Nov. 27, 1956, Brooklyn Dodgers starting pitcher Don Newcombe was named the first ever Cy Young Award winner, which was then given to the best pitcher in both leagues.
Newcombe received the award after going 27-7 with 18 complete games, five shutouts, 139 strikeouts and a 3.06 ERA in his sixth season with the team.
That season Newcombe was also named the National League MVP. He spent a total of seven and a half seasons with the Dodgers organization, also winning the Rookie of the Year in 1949 and appearing in four All-star games.
Newcombe won 123 games over his time with the franchise. Following the Dodgers’ move to Los Angeles in 1958, he got off to an 0–6 start and was traded midseason to the Cincinnati Reds for four players.
Newcombe then spent parts of the following two seasons with Reds and Cleveland Indians. In his 10-year Major League career, Newcombe went 149–90 with 136 complete games, 24 shutouts, a 3.56 ERA and 1,129 strikeouts.
Since Newcombe won the Cy Young award in 1956, Dodgers pitchers have gone on to win it 11 times: Don Drysdale (1962), Sandy Koufax (1963, 1965, 1966), Mike Marshall (1974), Fernando Valenzuela (1981), Orel Hershiser (1988), Eric Gagne (2003) and Clayton Kershaw (2011, 2013, 2014).
Newcombe, 89, remained involved with the Dodgers organization, including appearing at an event at Dodger Stadium in honor of Veteran’s Day, before passing away in 2019.
Dodgers honor Don Newcombe
Prior to his passing, Newcombe was included in the inaugural “Legends of Dodger Baseball” class in 2018. Then after his death the team further honored him with a jersey patch.
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