Newcombe has done some things as a pitcher that legends are built on, but probably nothing more dramatically appealing than his attempt in September 1950 to pitch both halves of a double-header. The feat had not been attempted since 1940 and had not been accomplished since 1928. Newcombe almost pulled it off. He pitched a three-hit shutout against the league-leading Phillies in the first game and gave up only two runs in seven innings in the second before he was removed for a pinch hitter.
Strength, power, meanness, ambition, whatever drives Newcombe to his best efforts, his regal bulk is for the Brooklyn Dodgers a welcome sight at any time. He clumps his way out to the mound in the exaggerated trudge he seems to affect almost defiantly (as if to say, this is the way Don Newcombe wants to walk and if you don't like it that's too bad). He looms over the batter, brings his hands up over his head and down violently as if he were ringing a church bell, down and back behind him as far as they can go, then up to his head again and then he throws, violently, falling off the mound a little toward first base as he releases the pitch. The ball spits toward the plate, leaving, it seems, a little smoking thread of white in the air behind it. More often than not it whips past the batter and smacks into Roy Campanella's mitt with an old-fashioned, soul-satisfying clap. And then all's right with Don Newcombe, the Dodgers and that part of the world that calls Brooklyn home.
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