On September 5, 1955 Brooklyn Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe hit his seventh home run of the season in his 11 – 4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. He connected off the Phillies’ Murray Dickson in the fourth inning with two other Dodgers on base. It was the former Negro League right handers 20th win of the season. His home run at that time was a National League record for home runs hit by a pitcher in a single season.
Leon Day, Raymond Brown, Sam Bankhead, and many other Negro League pitchers like Newcombe were good hitters. When they were not pitching, many of them played other positions to be in the team’s everyday line up to hit. Newcombe exhibited his hitting ability throughout his ten year Major League career. He hit a total of 15 home runs with 108 Runs Batted In (RBI) and a .271 batting average
The record Newcombe set on that day in 1955 has not been broken. Two other pitchers have tied it; Don Drysdale (1958, 1965), Mike Hampton (2001).
Who holds the Major League career record for home runs by an African American pitcher?