TheBaseballPage.com

Roy Campanella

Roy Campanella

Position(s):
C
Nicknames:
Campy
Born:
November 19, 1921
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
5' 9"
Weight:
190 lbs
Major League Debut:
4-20-1948 with BRO
Allstar Selections:
1951 MVP, 1953 MVP, 1955 MVP
Hall of Fame:
1969

Intro

The National League Most Valuable Player in 1951, 1953, and 1955, Roy Campanella was the second black man approached by Branch Rickey to play major league baseball. He debuted in 1948 and held down the Dodger catching job for a decade, leading the team to five pennants and a World Series title. A tragic automobile accident ended his career before he could play a single game in the Dodgers new west coast home.

 

Unform Number

#33 (1948), #56 (1948), #39 (1948-1957)

Replaced By

Johnny "Rosie" Roseboro, a rookie catcher in 1957, who assumed the starting job in 1958 after Camp was paralyzed in his car accident. Roseboro remained the Dodger starting catcher for a decade, contributing to four pennant-winners.

Best Season

Winning his second MVP Award, Campanella set career-highs in games, at-bats, runs (103), homers (41), RBI (142), walks (67), and slugging (.611). Like many catchers, he was an inconsistent performer offensively, having a terrible season in 1954, before bouncing back again in 1955 for his final MVP Award.

Facts:

For five years, from 1949 through 1953, Roy Campanella caught every inning of every All-Star game for the National League.

Roy Campanella was the first black man to manage a game in a white minor league.

Transition

In a dispute with Elite Giants owner Tom Wilson which resulted in a $250 fine that he refused to pay, Campanella made a jump to the Mexican League in 1942. In 1942 and 1943 he made just $100 a month plus expenses playing for the Mexican Monterey team. Campanella returned to the Negro leagues for the 1944 season after Wilson dropped the fine he had previously imposed. Campanella's salary was raised to $3,000 a year and he received a $300 signing bonus.

 

Good To Be Alive

In 1959 the Yankees and Dodgers held an exhibition game in Campanella's honor at Los Angeles Coliseum. The crowd of 93,103 remains a baseball record. The emotional Campanella addressed the crowd from his wheelchair, stating: "I thank God that I'm living to be here. I thank every one of you from the bottom of my heart." After concluding his remarks, the lights went out and everyone in attendance lit a match to honor his courage.

Notes

Campy hit safely in each of the Dodgers' first seven games in 1952, hitting .443 (13-for-30). Despite the hot start, he hit just .258 the remainder of the season, slumping 56 points below his average from the previous year.

 

Notable Achievements

    * 8-time NL All-Star (1949-1956)
    * 3-time NL MVP (1951, 1953 & 1955)
    * NL RBI Leader (1953)
    * 20-Home Run Seasons: 7 (1949-1953, 1955 & 1956)
    * 30-Home Run Seasons: 4 (1950, 1951, 1953 & 1955)
    * 40-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1953)
    * 100 RBI Seasons: 3 (1951, 1953 & 1955)
    * 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1953)
    * Won a World Series with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1955
    * Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1969

 

Negro Leagues Career Statistics

Year Team League G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB BA SLG
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1937 Washington Elite Giants NNL 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000
1928 Baltimore Elite Giants NNL 5 13 3 4 0 0 0 1 0 1 .308 .308
1939 Baltimore Elite Giants NNL 17 55 7 15 1 0 1 6 0 3 .273 .345
1940 Baltimore Elite Giants NNL 27 88 13 25 3 1 5 21 1 4 .284 .511
1941 Baltimore Elite Giants NNL 25 80 16 27 7 2 4 23 2 11 338 .625
1942 Baltimore Elite Giants NNL 30 110 18 33 3 3 1 28 1 10 .300 .409
1943 played in Mexican League
1944 Baltimore Elite Giants
Philadelphia Stars
NNL
NNL
21
1
84
3
19
2
37
1
10
0
1
0
2
0
23
0
2
1
3
1
.440
.333
.333
.333
1945 Baltimore Elite Giants NNL 9 31 8 9 1 1 1 5 0 6 .290 .484
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Total 8 seasons 137 466 86 151 25 8 14 107 7 39 .324 .502
per 162 games 0.85 162 551 102 179 30 9 17 127 8 46 .324 .502

Source: Shades of Glory, Hogan et al., ppg. 382-385

 

 

Links and Sources:

This day in baseball history

September 21

  • 1987

    On September 21, 1987, 40-year-old Japanese star Sachio Kinu ...

  • 1980

    On September 21, 1980, Steve Carlton of the Philadelphia Phi ...

  • 1970

    On September 21, 1970, Vida Blue of the Oakland A’s pitche ...

More Baseball History

Sponsored Links

 
Tagged:
1955 World Series, All Star, Atlantic City Bacharach Giants, Baltimore Elite Giants, Biz Mackey, Branch Rickey, Brooklyn Dodgers, Catcher, East-West League, Ebbets Field, Hall of Fame, Jackie Robinson, MVP, Mexican League, Negro Leagues, Roy Campanella, Tommy Davis, Tommy Lasorda

Comments

Login or register to post comments

Stay Connected

Share |

Today's Poll

Will Red Sox Repeat in 2014:
Browse Player Profiles