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The Transcendent Don Newcombe Remembered

Don Newcombe, a determined, helpful man and a pitcher who won both the National League MVP and the first Cy Young Award in 1956, died yesterday at the age of 92.

“Big Newk” hurled in so many BIG games for the perennial, pennant contending and often pennant winning Brooklyn Dodgers.

The results for Newcombe were mixed, they were largely heartbreaking losses for the team.

However, Don Newcombe, who not only completed games, something that has gone “the way of the dinosaur,” in today’s baseball,  also pitched on 2 days rest and in long relief stints, in some of the biggest baseball games.

I believe most notably Newcombe came in and helped the Dodgers win at Philadelphia on the last day of the 1951 season, setting up the famed New York Giants’ victory over the Dodgers, in the best of three playoff for the N.L. Pennant.

Don was (20-5) for the title winning ’55 Dodgers and won 27 games for the ’56 pennant winning club.

His work with those who like him suffered from alcoholism, transcended the game leaving Don a “more than baseball player,” whom as is the case with the 100 year anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s birth and the ’56 National League Rookie of the Year, Frank Robinson, the latter dying a scant 10 days before Newcombe, will be remembered this year and well beyond.


Don Newcombe, pictured above.

Red Sox Notes

Last season, the Boston Red Sox won 108 regular season games and then went (11-3) in post-season play, to win their fourth World Series in this century, one more than the S.F. Giants, who have the second most.

Boston was (7-1) in post-season road games, losing only a marathon, game 3 World Series, aberration game in L.A. , vs the Dodgers in game 3.

It is well documented that the Red Sox went 86 years sans a World Series victory, however, in pretty sharp contrast with the Chicago Cubs, whose drought was 108 years, but never were really that close to a crown (in their lone game with a chance for the title, the Detroit Tigers eased to victory in game 7– 1945 World Series vs them), the Red Sox were gallant in heartbreaking World Series losses to two 108 regular season win teams, the 1986 New York Mets and the 1975 Cincinnati Reds.


An example of the Cubs not coming close in World Series play was in 1938 when the vaunted and truly great New York Yankees repeated their 1932 World Series 4 game sweep, vs the Cubs.

“Perry Mason” On MeTV

There was a good episode of the iconic television show, “Perry Mason,” that aired this morning on MeTV.

In the episode, (“The Bullied Bowler”) “Perry Mason” is travelling in Europe, hence Raymond Burr as “Mason,” does not appear.

It is Mike Connors, later the star of “Mannix,” credited as Michael Connors, who takes on the role of a defense attorney and succeeds a la “Mason” in this fine episode with Anne Seymour, another guest performer.

Barbara Hale and a pair of men named  William, (Hopper and Talman), three “regulars,” do appear.




More Supe To (For) Nuts, Notes

The sixth Super Bowl victory by the New England Patriots was the 16th for an AFL team, still leaving NFL teams with a significant (37-16) advantage.

However, this ninth Supe victory by an original AFL team in 22 seasons (’97-2018) has cut into what once stood as an NFL advantage of (22-3) over original AFL teams in NFC/AFC configuration Super Bowls.

Among original AFL teams, New England has 6 crowns, all from 2001 forward, the Denver Broncos three, all from 1997 on, while the Raiders with 3 in the NFC/AFC configuration, have not won one since 1983.

Both the New York Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs, winners in the last two AFL/NFL Super Bowls, have failed to even qualify for a Supe in the 49 NFC/AFC configuration seasons.

The Miami Dolphins, a 1966 AFL expansion team, (Joe Auer returned the game’s opening kickoff for a touchdown in their first game. The next season, John Gilliam did so for the NFL expansion team, New Orleans Saints) have won 2 Super Bowls.





NHL Update: The Lightning Are Easing To The Top Mark

It is the All-Star break in the endless N.B.A. regular season, so “of course” I will comment on the N.H.L. which also has a seemingly endless “reg,” but one that is a bit more important.

The reason for the above comparison is that an upstart in the NHL actually has a chance to go a long way in the playoffs, maybe even win the crown. That is essentially not the case in the N.B.A.

Toward that end, though the Tampa Bay Lightning are almost certain to have the NHL’s best record, doing so with rare ease, it really does not mean all that much, especially in light of the NHL history and the fact, that the nature of the game makes hockey upsets clearly viable.

However, the Lightning are an impressive team, one that has gone far in recent ‘offs, so clearly they are the “plurality” favorite to win the NHL crown.







Paul Mecurio’s “Permission To Speak” Is Outstanding

I thoroughly enjoyed and was highly impressed by Paul Mecurio in “Permission To Speak.”

Now playing at “The Actor’s Temple,” (339 West 47th Street) “Permission to Speak,” with  Mecurio in great form, as the show’s host, brings people from the audience on stage to tell their stories.

It is a great concept and Mecurio, an award winning comedian, makes his idea of gray, not black and white and that we all have stories, manifest with humorous, insightful questions.

Each night there are different people on stage. On the night I attended, the “jackpot” of good participants was hit. Unlike and actually in sharp contrast with slot machines, there is a great chance “jackpot” will be hit, when you attend.

Click below  to purchase tickets. I highly recommend doing so.

Paul Mecurio’s Permission To Speak Tickets


Paul Mecurio, pictured above is truly talented and his “Permission To Speak” is a great idea/show.


Frank Sutton’s Excellent Work Remembered

I really enjoyed actor Frank Sutton’s performance, as a man happy in his own place in life, on the legendary television show, “Gunsmoke.”

The episode aired this week on MeTV, which is a television channel that I thoroughly enjoy.

Sutton is best known for his role as “Sergeant Carter,” on the television show, “Gomer Pyle,” which starred Jim Nabors.

In 1955, Ernest Borgnine played against type and was brilliant in the Paddy Chayefsky written, “Marty.” Mr. Borgnine won the best actor Academy Award.

Frank Sutton was among a great supporting cast in the film, playing one of Borgnine/”Marty’s” pals.


Frank Sutton, pictured above.