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Bobo Newsom is Dead

Dec. 7, 1962 - Bobo Newsom (pictured in 1932), a big right-handed pitcher who spent 24 years in the major leagues, died today in an Orlando hospital of a liver ailment. He was 55 years old. The colorful pitcher, whose true name was Louis Norman Newsom, broke into the majors with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1929. Gifted with a rare sense of humor, Newsom adopted the nickname of Bobo himself, then generously applied it to all others he addressed. Bobo never used the pronoun “I.” He always referred to himself in the third person. His conversation, as unusual in its own way as Casey Stengel’s, would therefore run something like this: “Now listen, Bobo, when Bobo says he’s ready to pitch, there’s nothing more to worry about. Because, Bobo, Bobo has a feelin’ Bobo is gonna win 20 games this year.” Newsom pitched for nine major league clubs. Once, opening the season for the Washington Senators with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his entire Cabinet present, Bobo had his jaw fractured by a ball thrown by Ossie Bluege, the Senators’ third baseman. He remained in the game and beat Lefty Gomez and the Yankees, 1-0. “When the President comes to see Bobo pitch,” said Bobo, “Ol’ Bobo ain’t gonna disappoint him.” When his colorful career ended, he had 211 victories against 222 losses. He also had a legion of friends — all named Bobo.

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