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1914 Boston Braves

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    Bobo Newsom


    Bobo Newsom, a massive, barrel-chested man, toured the major leagues for 20 years, traveling a path that reached eight clubs, rewinding to Washington five times, Brooklyn three times, and the Athletics twice. Bobo was what he called most of his teammates, because he was rarely around long enough to learn their names. He moved through baseball, talkative, boastful, with a supreme self-confidence he usually backed up with a superlative performance, only to have it negated somehow. Three seasons in a row he won 20 or more games, but four times he led the league in losses. He is one of two pitchers to win over 200 games and lose even more.

    Misfortune plagued Newsom. He once pitched nine no-hit innings only to lose 2-1 on a 10th-inning hit; he was suspended by his own manager for throwing a spitball; he had his kneecap broken by a line drive yet hobbled on to a complete-game victory. He showed great courage in the 1940 World Series. He had a 21-5 record that year and pitched three complete games for the Tigers in the seven-game Series. His father died suddenly after seeing him win the opener. Tearfully, Newsom dedicated his next start to his dad and won that as well. But his fortunes reversed in Game Seven, as he lost to the Reds, 2-1. (JK)

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