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Vince Agul
August 15, 1977
The happiest of the 31,793 fans jammed into Crosley Field on the sunny afternoon of Oct. 2, 1940 was Henry Quillen Buffkin Newsom. A frail 68-year-old retired farmer, Newsom, it seemed, had been kept alive only by the dream that one day he would see his son, Norman Louis, pitch in a World Series. And this day he would start the Series opener for the visiting Detroit Tigers against the Cincinnati Reds.
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August 15, 1977

Bobo Newsom Turned Serious And Won One For Dad In The 1940 Series

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By Game 5, the Series was again tied, when Newsom, head down, walked slowly to the mound at Detroit's Briggs Stadium. A crowd of 55,189 was on hand to lend support to Newsom's bid to "win one for Dad."

The Reds got their first hit in the top of the second, but Newsom held them scoreless. He did the same in the third, before Detroit finally took the lead. After singles by Barney McCosky and Gehringer, one swipe of Hank Greenberg's bat settled the issue. The ball landed in the upper left-field stands to give Newsom a 3-0 edge. Thereafter, Newsom kept firing the ball past the Reds. The final score was 8-0, with Cincy getting only three hits.

Newsom listlessly shook hands after the game and dutifully posed for pictures with his catcher, Billy Sullivan. When reporters and photographers continued to crowd around Newsom's stall, his teammate Schoolboy Rowe barked, "Leave him alone!" Newsom left the room sobbing. When he came back, he said, "I don't think anybody could have beaten me today. It was the game I wanted to win the most." While Newsom was winning, his father was buried back home in South Carolina.

The Reds bounced back when the Series returned to Cincy for Game 6, Walters winning 4-0. With his undermanned pitching staff, Tiger Manager Del Baker had little choice but to ask Newsom to come back with one day's rest and start the deciding game. As in the Series opener, he would face Derringer.

For six innings, while he nursed a 1-0 lead, it looked as if Newsom would become the first pitcher in 20 years to win three games in a World Series. Then in the bottom of the seventh, two first-pitch doubles, a sacrifice and a long fly gave Cincinnati the runs it needed for a 2-1 win.

Even though the Reds were world champs, the hero of the Series was Newsom. He had pitched the most innings (26), struck out the most batters (17), had the lowest earned run average (1.38) among the starters and had tied Walters and Derringer for most wins (two).

Seven years later, Newsom, then with the Yankees, again pitched in the Series, but he did not win. His last World Series victory would remain the one he won for his dad.

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