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Roy Campanella
Brooklyn Dodgers
Hall of Fame Inductee - 1969
National League MVP 1951, 1953, 1955
All-Star Selection 7 times 1949-1956
First black catcher in Major Leagues

Full Name: Roy Campanella
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 5-8 Weight: 200 lbs.
Born: Nov 19, 1921 in Philadelphia, PA
Major League Debut: Apr 20, 1948
Died: Jun 26, 1993 in Woodland Hills, CA

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CAREER STATISTICS - BATTING TOTALS

BATTING
YR
1948
1949
1950
1951
1952
1953
1954
1955
1956
1957
TM
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
LG
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
POS
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
G
83
130
126
143
128
144
111
123
124
103
AB
279
436
437
505
468
519
397
446
388
330
R
32
65
70
90
73
103
43
81
39
31
H
72
125
123
164
126
162
82
142
85
80
2B
11
22
19
33
18
26
14
20
6
9
3B
3
2
3
1
1
3
3
1
1
0
HR
9
22
31
33
22
41
19
32
20
13
RBI
45
82
89
108
97
142
51
107
73
62
TB
116
217
241
298
212
317
159
260
153
128
BB
36
67
55
53
57
67
42
56
66
34
IBB
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
9
15
6
Totals G
1215
AB
4205
R
627
H
1161
2B
178
3B
18
HR
242
RBI
856
TB
2101
BB
533
IBB
30


BATTING BASERUNNING PERCENTAGES
YR
1948
1949
1950
1951
1952
1953
1954
1955
1956
1957
TM
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
LG
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
K
45
36
51
51
59
58
49
41
61
50
HBP
1
3
2
4
3
4
2
6
1
4
SH
5
1
0
0
5
0
4
5
4
6
SF
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
9
2
6
GDP
3
11
17
19
22
13
13
14
20
11
SB
3
3
1
1
8
4
1
2
1
1
CS
0
0
0
2
4
2
4
3
0
0
SB%
1.000
1.000
1.000
.333
.667
.667
.200
.400
1.000
1.000
AVG
.258
.287
.281
.325
.269
.312
.207
.318
.219
.242
OBP
.345
.385
.364
.393
.352
.395
.285
.395
.333
.316
SLG
.416
.498
.551
.590
.453
.611
.401
.583
.394
.388
AB/HR
31.0
19.8
14.1
15.3
21.3
12.7
20.9
13.9
19.4
25.4
AB/K
6.2
12.1
8.6
9.9
7.9
8.9
8.1
10.9
6.4
6.6
Totals K
501
HBP
30
SH
30
SF
18
GDP
143
SB
25
CS
15
SB%
.625
BAVG
.276
OBP
.360
SLG
.500
AB/HR
17.4
AB/K
8.4

 

CAREER STATISTICS - FIELDING TOTALS

FIELDING
YR
1948
1949
1950
1951
1952
1953
1954
1955
1956
1957
TM
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
LG
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
POS
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
G
78
127
123
140
122
140
111
121
121
100
PO
413
684
683
722
662
807
600
672
659
618
A
45
55
54
72
55
57
58
54
49
51
E
9
11
11
11
4
10
7
6
11
5
FPCT
.981
.985
.985
.986
.995
.989
.990
.992
.985
.993
INN
398.6
649.0
628.6
715.3
623.3
715.3
567.3
618.3
618.3
511.0
PB
4
7
6
4
9
3
4
4
8
7
SBA
11
15
21
15
17
17
19
21
24
21
CCS
23
24
34
32
30
24
22
18
20
15
CS%
.677
.615
.618
.681
.638
.585
.537
.462
.455
.417
PkO








2
2
Totals G
1183
PO
6520
A
550
E
85
FPCT
.988
INN
6045.0
PB
56
SBA
181
CCS
242
CS%
.572
PkO
?


ALL-STAR STATISTICS - BATTING TOTALS

BATTING PERCENTAGES
YR
1949
1950
1951
1952
1953
1954
1955
1956
TM
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
LG
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
G
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
AB
2
6
4
1
4
3
0
0
R
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
H
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
2B
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
3B
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
HR
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
RBI
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
TB
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
BB
1
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
K
1
2
0
0
1
1
0
0
SB
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
BAVG
.000
.000
.000
.000
.250
.333
-.---
-.---
SLG
.000
.000
.000
.000
.250
.333
-.---
-.---
AB/HR
--.-
--.-
--.-
--.-
--.-
--.-
--.-
--.-
AB/K
2.0
3.0
--.-
--.-
4.0
3.0
--.-
--.-
Totals G
7
AB
20
R
1
H
2
2B
0
3B
0
HR
0
RBI
0
TB
2
BB
3
K
5
SB
0
AVG
.100
SLG
.100
AB/HR
--.-
AB/K
4.0


WORLD SERIES STATISTICS - BATTING TOTALS

BATTING PERCENTAGES
YR
1949
1952
1953
1955
1956
TM
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
Bro
LG
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
G
5
7
6
7
7
AB
15
28
22
27
22
R
2
0
6
4
2
H
4
6
6
7
4
2B
1
0
0
3
1
3B
0
0
0
0
0
HR
1
0
1
2
0
RBI
2
1
2
4
3
TB
8
6
9
16
5
BB
3
1
2
3
3
K
1
6
3
3
7
SB
0
0
0
0
0
BAVG
.267
.214
.273
.259
.182
SLG
.533
.214
.409
.593
.227
AB/HR
15.0
--.-
22.0
13.5
--.-
AB/K
15.0
4.7
7.3
9.0
3.1
Totals G
32
AB
114
R
14
H
27
2B
5
3B
0
HR
4
RBI
12
TB
44
BB
12
K
20
SB
0
AVG
.237
SLG
.386
AB/HR
28.5
AB/K
5.7


TEAM ABBREVIATION KEY
YEARS
1948-1957
TM
Bro
LG
NL
TEAM NAME
Brooklyn Dodgers
LEAGUE NAME
National League

Roy Campanella was a superb catcher who attacked the ball for both power and average. The roly-poly receiver was quick and agile behind the plate - with a rifle arm. In addition, he was an expert handler of pitchers and a natural leader of the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1948-57. The 3-time MVP set a number of fielding and home run records for catchers until a tragic auto accident in 1958 ended his playing career.

Campanella, one of the five black players signed by Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey before the 1946 season, was the first catcher to break organized baseball's color line. Just 5'9" but solidly built, he had already proven himself as a catcher during nine years in the Negro National League, the winter leagues, and Mexico. In 12 additional seasons, 10 in the majors, he was one of the era's outstanding players, and his leadership and indefatigable enthusiasm made him one of the most popular players in the game.

Born in Philadelphia of a black mother and an Italian father, Campanella began his baseball career in 1937 with a hometown semi-pro team, the Bacharach Giants. So impressive was his play that the Baltimore Elite Giants of the Negro National League offered him a uniform that year, though he was only 15 years old. Still in school, he played only on weekends and caught only to spell veteran Biz Mackey. The next year, however, he left school and joined the team full-time. He won the first-string job in 1939 and led the Giants to playoff triumphs over the Newark Eagles and the Homestead Grays. In four games he collected five hits, including one HR, and drove in seven runs.

Campanella soon challenged the aging Josh Gibson as the dominant Negro League catcher. He was voted the MVP in the 1941 East-West all-star game, but after a dispute with Baltimore owner Tom Wilson, he jumped to the Mexican League for part of 1942 and all of 1943. Rejoining the Giants, he led the league in doubles in 1944 and in RBI in 1945.

In October 1945, Campanella caught for a black all-star team in a five-game exhibition series against a squad of white major leaguers managed by Charlie Dressen. Dressen had orders to arrange an appointment for Campanella with the Brooklyn Dodgers, who later signed the catcher for their Nashua, NH, Class-B farm team (Eastern League), a club run by Buzzie Bavasi and managed by Walter Alston. Campanella, who roomed with pitcher Don Newcombe, hit .290, led the league in putouts, assists, and errors, and won the MVP award. In 1947 he advanced to Montreal, the Dodgers' International League team, and again was named the MVP, despite a season-ending slump that cut his average to .273. Paul Richards, then the Buffalo manager, called him "the best catcher in the business - major or minor leagues."

Campanella made the Dodgers in 1948, but his promotion to Brooklyn was delayed by Rickey's plan to have him integrate the American Association. The owner forced manager Leo Durocher to play the catcher in the outfield, where he was not successful, and then sent him to St. Paul (AA) in May. In 35 games, he had 40 hits (half for extra bases) and 39 RBI and batted .325 before being recalled.

Campanella returned to the Dodgers to stay. For the next nine years, he caught for outstanding Brooklyn teams whose members have been lionized as "The Boys of Summer." They won National League pennants in 1949, 1952, 1953, 1955, and 1956, narrowly missed two others, and climaxed Brooklyn's baseball history with its only World Series triumph in 1955. Campanella's contributions to the Dodgers were remarkable. He won the MVP award three times in five years. In 1953, his best season, he batted .312, and scored 103 runs. Also, his 142 RBI (which led the league) and 41 HR set ML records for catchers (plus one HR as a pinch-hitter). He fielded with grace that belied his physique and handled with distinction a predominantly white pitching staff.

Like those of many catchers, Campanella's career was punctuated by injuries. In spring training of 1954, he chipped a bone in the heel of his left hand and damaged a nerve. It affected his hitting and limited him to 111 games. Surgery helped in 1955, but the problem returned the next year. Then, in January 1958, Campanella was permanently disabled in an automobile accident. Returning home from his liquor store, which he ran in the off-season, he lost control of his car on an icy street. The car slammed into a telephone pole and flipped over, pinning him behind the steering wheel. The crash fractured his fifth cervical vertebra and damaged his spinal cord. He survived and endured years of therapy, living far beyond the normal span for quadriplegics, but his career was over. He committed himself to decades of work in community relations for the Dodgers.