Don Newcombe of the Brooklyn Dodgers
Newcombe debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949, and immediately helped the Dodgers win the pennant. He won seventeen games, led the league in shutouts, and at one stretch pitched 32 consecutive scoreless innings. He was among the first four black players to be named to the All-Star team that season, along with teammates Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella and the Indians' Larry Doby. He was named Rookie of the Year by both The Sporting News and the Baseball Writers Association of America. In 1950, he won nineteen games, and then won twenty games in 1951. In the memorable playoff game between the Dodgers and the Giants at the end of the 1951 season, he was relieved by Ralph Branca in the bottom of the ninth inning who then surrendered the walk-off home run to Bobby Thomson. After two years of military duty during the Korean War, Newcombe suffered a disappointing season in 1954, but returned to form in 1955 with a record of 20-5 and an ERA of 3.20 helping to lead the Dodgers to their first World Series championship in franchise history. He had an even greater 1956 season, with a 27-7 record, a 3.06 ERA, five shutouts, and was named the NL's MVP, and was awarded the first-ever Cy Young Award, then given to the best pitcher in the combined major leagues. Stan Musial claimed that Newcombe’s fastball was one of the most frightening pitches he had ever faced.