The former A’s right-hander recalled the impact that the Dodgers’ Don Newcombe, the first black pitcher to win 20 games, had on him when he reported to L.A.’s camp in the 1970s. Stewart was a rare commodity: a black starting pitcher. And Newcombe, who died Tuesday at 92, was there for him. “His influence on me is beyond words,” said Stewart, who helped Oakland to three straight World Series, becoming Series MVP in 1989. “I can’t even tell you how huge it was for me to meet him at the time I did in my career.” Newcombe taught Stewart the value of being there when new black starters come along, and Stewart repaid the favor by helping mentor Bay Area-born pitchers CC Sabathia and Dontrelle Willis. “For those guys, I was present when they needed me,” Stewart said.
The new captain of the 2020 United States Ryder Cup team is the first who has not won a major. Tiger Woods, among three players on the Ryder Cup committee, said Stricker still was a unanimous choice. “I was thinking they’re not going to have me. I haven’t won a major,” said Stricker, whose team will try to win back the trophy in his home state of Wisconsin. “But it kept going further along, me putting in the time last year, the Presidents Cup (as captain) a couple of years ago, and the PGA of America and Ryder Cup committees saying they wanted to move off from that.” Stricker didn’t make his first Ryder Cup team until he was 41 (2008, a rare U.S. victory). Padraig Harrington will lead Europe, which has won seven of the past nine Cups.
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This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Ex-A-s-pitcher-Dave-Stewart-recalls-impact-of-13632363.php.