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Bobo Newsom

A card of Bobo Newsom.

Louis Norman (Bobo) Newsom (August 11 1907December 7 1962) was an American starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. Also known as "Buck", Newsom played for a number of teams from 1929 through 1953. He batted and threw right-handed.

Life and career[]

Born in Hartsville, South Carolina, Newsom was known as a somewhat eccentric and emotional personality, typically referring to everyone, and also 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."[1][2]

Newsom's performance in 1941 was a disappointment, as he lost 20 games, winning only 12. When the 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 1947, although he had a poor outing, Newsom garnered a Series ring while with the New York Yankees.

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 1938-40 and 1944. With 211 wins, he is one of the 100 winningest pitchers of all time. His 222 loses 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 is Jack Powell. Upon his retirement in 1953, he was the last major leaguer to have played in the 1920s to still be active.

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.

Newsom died in Orlando, Florida at age 55 from cirrhosis of the liver and was buried in his home town of Hartsville, which has a street named in his honor.

Newsom is mentioned in the poem "Lineup for Yesterday" by Ogden Nash:

Lineup for Yesterday
N is for Newsom,
Bobo's favorite kin.
You ask how he's here,
He talked himself in.
Ogden Nash, Sport magazine (January 1949)[3]

See also[]


  1. The Official Encyclopedia of Baseball, by Turkin & Thompson
  2. Baseball's Unforgettable Games, by Reichler and Olan, 1960
  3. Baseball Almanac. Retrieved on 2008-01-23.

External links[]

Preceded by:
Bob Feller
American League Strikeout Champion
(with Tex Hughson)
Succeeded by:
Allie Reynolds