Speed Reads

RIP

Dodgers legend Don Newcombe dies at 92

Don Newcombe, a star pitcher for the Dodgers, died Tuesday, following a long illness. He was 92.

Dodgers president Stan Kasten said in a statement that Newcombe's "presence and life established him as a role model for major leaguers across the country. He was a constant presence at Dodger Stadium and players always gravitated toward him for his endless advice and friendship." Sandy Koufax said Newcombe was "a mentor at first, a friend at the end. He will be missed by anyone who got to know him."

After getting his start in the Negro Leagues, Newcombe broke barriers as one of the first black pitchers in Major League Baseball. Newcombe played for 10 seasons, starting with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949, and in 1956 he won the inaugural Cy Young Award and National League MVP. Following his retirement, Newcombe disclosed that he had a drinking problem, and after becoming sober in the 1960s, he raised awareness about alcohol abuse. He later worked with the Dodgers as director of community affairs and later special adviser to the team's chairman.