Louis Norman Newsom, better known as “Buck” to his teammates and “Bobo” to his fans, pitched twenty years in the big leagues, the winner of 211 games. He did a lot of traveling: he played for nine teams, including six of the eight teams in the American League. He wore 13 different uniform numbers and was traded five times, including twice by the Senators. He was coming and going to and from Washington D.C. frequently: he had four stints with the Nats.
One club had a difficult time getting Newsom: the Detroit Tigers tried for years to get him, even offering ,000 and several minor league players for the stout righthanded pitcher at the 1936 winter meetings. The Senators declined, asking for outfielder Pete Fox and pitcher Elden Auker. Newsom was peeved with Washington because he’d won 17 games in 1936 and didn’t get a chance to win one more, which would have earned him a ,500 bonus. Instead, manager Bucky Harris removed Newsom in the fifth inning in his final start of the year.
Newsom was great at beating up on the little guys: in 1936 12 of his 17 wins came against the lowly Browns and Athletics. For his career he was 59-33 against the A’s and Browns, while only posting a 48-68 mark against the Yankees and Tigers, the two best teams in the AL in the 1930s.
Newsom was a hero for the Tigers in the 1940 World Series, nearly pitching them to the title. He handcuffed the Reds in the the first and fifth games. In the deciding seventh contest he pitched just days after his father’s death and held Cincinnati at bay. He carried a 1-0 lead into the seventh inning but a Reds’ rally plated two runs and Detroit lost a tight game. Still, Newsom was 2-1 with a 1.38 ERA in three starts.
Most Games with 8+ Strikeouts, 1913-1945
Dazzy Vance … 88
Bob Feller … 69
Lefty Grove … 62
Walter Johnson … 55
Bobo Newsom … 54
Tommy Bridges … 42
Red Ruffing … 40
Johnny Vander Meer … 36
Lefty Gomez … 35
Dizzy Dean … 33