August 11, 1907|
Hartsville, South Carolina
|Died: December 7, 1962
|September 11, 1929, for the Brooklyn Robins|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 17, 1953, for the Philadelphia Athletics|
|Earned run average||3.98|
|Career highlights and awards|
Louis Norman "Bobo" Newsom (August 11, 1907 – December 7, 1962) was an American starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. Also known as "Buck", Newsom played for nine of the 16 then-existing big-league teams from 1929 through 1953 over all or parts of 20 seasons, appearing in an even 600 games pitched and 3,7591⁄3 innings pitched. He batted and threw right-handed, stood 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) tall and weighed 200 pounds (91 kg).
Life and career
Born in Hartsville, South Carolina, Newsom was known as a somewhat eccentric and emotional personality, typically referring to everyone, including himself, in the third person, as "Bobo".
Newsom pitched valiantly in a losing cause in Game Seven of the 1940 World Series with the Detroit Tigers, two days after pitching a shutout in honor of his father, who had died while visiting from South Carolina and watching his son win the opener. Bobo had said before pitching Game Five, "I'll win this one for my daddy." When manager Del Baker named Newsom to take the mound for Game Seven, Bobo was asked by reporters, "will you win this one for your daddy too?" "Why, no", Newsom said, "I think I'll win this one for old Bobo."
Newsom's performance in 1941 was a disappointment, as he lost 20 games, winning only 12. When Tigers' general manager Jack Zeller negotiated a contract with Newsom, he said, "You'll have to take a salary cut, Newsom, since you lost 20 games last season." The plain-spoken Bobo, remembering what Commissioner Landis had done to release players on minor-league teams that were under major-league teams' control, snapped, "Hell, you lost ninety-one of Briggs' [the team owner] ball players last year, and I don't see you taking no cut." Zeller was not amused and traded Newsom to the Washington Senators.
In a 20-season career, Newsom posted a 211–222 record with 2082 strikeouts and a 3.98 ERA in 3759.1 innings pitched. He also made the American League All-Star team from 1938–1940 and in 1944. With 211 wins, he is one of the 100 winningest pitchers of all time. His 222 losses also make him one of only two major league pitchers to win 200 games and still have a sub .500 career winning percentage, the other being Jack Powell. Upon his retirement in 1953, he was the last major leaguer to have played in the 1920s to still be active. Newsom is one of only 29 players in baseball history to date to have appeared in Major League games in four decades.
Al Benton is the only major-league pitcher to have faced both Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle. Newsom was the only other pitcher whose career spanned that of both hitters. He did face Ruth in 1934; however, in 1951, Mantle's first year, Newsom was out of the majors, and in 1952, Newsom never faced the Yankees—and the one time he faced them in 1953, Mantle was out of the lineup with an injury.
- Best pitching seasons by a Detroit Tiger
- List of Major League Baseball leaders in career wins
- List of Major League Baseball players who played in four decades
- List of Major League Baseball strikeout champions
- Top 100 strikeout pitchers of all time
- Major League Baseball titles leaders
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Bobo Newsom at the SABR Bio Project, by Ralph Berger, retrieved November 25, 2013