- November 19, 1921
- 5' 9"
- 190 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 4-20-1948 with BRO
- Allstar Selections:
- 1951 MVP, 1953 MVP, 1955 MVP
- Hall of Fame:
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.
#33 (1948), #56 (1948), #39 (1948-1957)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
* 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
|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
|1945||Baltimore Elite Giants||NNL||9||31||8||9||1||1||1||5||0||6||.290||.484|
|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:
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- 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