Bobo Newsom

Baseball’s Traveling Man

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About the Book

For three decades, Louis Norman “Bobo” Newsom (1907–1962) was one of the most well-known pitchers in baseball. Frequently quoted by sportswriters, he appeared in all the popular sports publications as well as on Wheaties boxes and bubblegum cards, and was the undisputed star of the 1940 World Series.
Despite his success, he was sold or traded 14 times during his 20-year career. He pitched for nine of 16 Major League teams—including five stints with the Washington Senators—and made sports headlines nearly every year for holding out, being suspended or traded. In an era when players seldom changed teams more than once and rarely defied authority, Newsom seemed always at odds with the powers that be.
Drawing on interviews with family, friends and former teammates, this first full-length biography of Newsom takes an entertaining look at the life and career of one of sports’ most memorable characters. Despite his nickname and nonstop antics, Bobo was much more than a clown, and gave more to the game than he ever got from it.

About the Author(s)

Sports journalist Jim McConnell has written Then and Now, a weekly sports history column for the Pasadena Star-News and its affiliates, for the past 20 years. He has won numerous writing awards, including those bestowed by The Associated Press, The California Newspaper Publisher’s Association and the Greater Los Angeles Press Club. He is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) Research Award. He lives in Covina, California.

Bibliographic Details

Jim McConnell
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 256
Bibliographic Info: 40 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9784-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1959-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix

Foreword by Mark Langill 1

Introduction 3

One. Hartsville, South Carolina (1907–1927) 9

Two. Raleigh to Brooklyn, via Greenville, Wilmington and Mobile (1928–1929) 22

Three. New York to Los Angeles, via Brooklyn, Jersey City, Mobile, Little Rock and Chicago (1930–1933) 31

Four. St. Louis to Washington, D.C. (1934–1935) 49

Five. Washington to Boston (1936–1937) 67

Six. St. Louis to Detroit (1938–1939) 85

Seven. Detroit (1940) 102

Eight. Detroit to Washington to Brooklyn (1941–1942) 128

Nine. Brooklyn to St. Louis to Washington (1943) 146

Ten. Philadelphia to Washington (1944–1946) 161

Eleven. New York to Hartsville (1947–1948) 179

Twelve. Chattanooga to Birmingham to Washington to Philadelphia (1949–1953) 189

Thirteen. Baltimore to Washington to Winter Park to Hartsville (1954–1962) 205

Epilogue 214

Chapter Notes 219

Bibliography 237

Index 239

Book Reviews & Awards

“During a long career in baseball, Bobo Newsom provided more than his fair share of quality pitching (for his teams), colorful quotes (for the sportwriters) and continual headaches (for management). Thanks to Jim McConnell, we finally have a biography worthy of this wonderful character.”—Mark Armour, founder of SABR’s Baseball Biography Project.