Saturday, February 23, 2008

Roy Campanella

video
from wikipedia and the official roy camapanella site

A successful catcher is defined by his ability to handle the pitching staff, throw out would-be stealers, and keep errant throws and pitches in front of him. Roy Campanella possessed all these skills and then some.
The man they called "Campy" was the complete package, leading National League catchers in putouts six times, and clubbing 242 home runs in his 10-year Major League career. From 1948-1957, Roy Campanella was securely anchored behind home plate for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Campanella's 1946 season, for the Dodger minor league team in Montreal, proceeded largely without racial incident, and in one game Campanella took over the managerial duties after manager Walter Alston was ejected. This made Campanella the first African-American to manage white players on an organized professional baseball team. Nashua was three runs down at the time Campanella took over. They came back to win, in part due to Campanella's decision to use pitcher Don Newcombe as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning. Newcombe hit a game-tying two-run home run.
He caught in five World Series, won the National League Most Valuable Player award in 1951, 1953, and 1955, and was the first black catcher in Major League Baseball history. In 1969, he joined baseball’s elite with his induction into the Hall of Fame.
Campanella lived in Long Island while owning a liquor store in Harlem, which he also operated during the baseball off-season. On January 28, 1958, after closing the store for the night, he began his drive home to Long Island. However, before he arrived, his car hit a patch of ice, skidded into a telephone pole and overturned.
The accident left Campanella paralyzed from the chest down. Through physical therapy, he eventually was able to gain substantial use of his arms and hands. He was able to feed himself, shake hands, and gesture while speaking, but he would be confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of his life.
Birth name: Roy Campanella
Nickname: Campy

Birth date: November 19, 1921
Birth place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Death date: June 26, 1993
Death place: Woodland Hills, California
Height: 5' 9" Weight: 190 lbs.
Parents: John and Ida Campanella
Campanella's father was of Italian descent; his mother was African American. Therefore, he was barred from Major League Baseball prior to 1947 — the season that non-white players were admitted to the Major Leagues for the first time since the 19th Century
Marriage: Ruthe, Roxie Doles, 1963-1993 (his death)
Children: Five children with his first wife, Ruthe
Athletic position: Catcher
Athletic teams: Brooklyn Dodgers (1949 -1957), Baltimore Elite Giants [Negro National League] (1937- 1942)
Threw: Right Batted: Right
Hall of Fame: Elected in 1969
In 1991, Roy and Roxie founded the "The Roy and Roxie Campanella Physical Therapy Scholarship Foundation." Equipment, education, information, and support for those living with paraplegia was provided by the foundation. It also awarded scholarships to students pursuing a degree in the field of physical therapy.
Was a star for nine seasons in the Mexican and Negro Leagues.
He played in five World Series.
Led National League catchers in putout six times.
Hit 242 home runs as a catcher.
Was selected the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1951, 1953, and 1955.

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