Remembering A Hero:

A Tribute to Roy Campanella

By Brent Shyer
  • A pillar of strength, catcher Roy Campanella joined the Brooklyn Dodgers for the 1948 season following a stint in their minor league system with Nashua, NH and Montreal. As one of the first four African-Americans to be signed into Major League Baseball, Campanella was well-prepared for the opportunity having previously played in the Negro Leagues and Mexican League.A pillar of strength, catcher Roy Campanella joined the Brooklyn Dodgers for the 1948 season following a stint in their minor league system with Nashua, NH and Montreal. As one of the first four African-Americans to be signed into Major League Baseball, Campanella was well-prepared for the opportunity having previously played in the Negro Leagues and Mexican League.
  • Roy Campanella (far right) celebrating with teammates Jackie Robinson (left) and Joe Black at the Brooklyn Dodgers’ 1952 National League Pennant victory party at the Hotel Bossert.Roy Campanella (far right) celebrating with teammates Jackie Robinson (left) and Joe Black at the Brooklyn Dodgers’ 1952 National League Pennant victory party at the Hotel Bossert.
  • Brooklyn Dodger center fielder Duke Snider, known as “The Duke of Flatbush,” receives admiration from friends and teammates Roy Campanella and first baseman Gil Hodges.Brooklyn Dodger center fielder Duke Snider, known as “The Duke of Flatbush,” receives admiration from friends and teammates Roy Campanella and first baseman Gil Hodges.
  • A quintet of Brooklyn Dodgers, four of whom were eventually inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, made significant contributions to the game and helped shape the course of Dodger history. Shown from left to right are Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, “The Captain” Pee Wee Reese (all in the Hall of Fame) and Gil Hodges.A quintet of Brooklyn Dodgers, four of whom were eventually inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, made significant contributions to the game and helped shape the course of Dodger history. Shown from left to right are Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, “The Captain” Pee Wee Reese (all in the Hall of Fame) and Gil Hodges.
  • Popular Dodgers Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Duke Snider sign autographs for their many fans during Brooklyn’s Goodwill Tour to Japan in October-November, 1956.Popular Dodgers Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Duke Snider sign autographs for their many fans during Brooklyn’s Goodwill Tour to Japan in October-November, 1956.
  • Roy Campanella and teammate Gil Hodges wave to well-wishers after stepping off a Dodger charter flight.Roy Campanella and teammate Gil Hodges wave to well-wishers after stepping off a Dodger charter flight.
  • A “Golden Circle” ticket stub from “Roy Campanella Night” at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on May 7, 1959. The Dodgers flew back home following an afternoon game in San Francisco to host the New York Yankees in an exhibition contest.A “Golden Circle” ticket stub from “Roy Campanella Night” at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on May 7, 1959. The Dodgers flew back home following an afternoon game in San Francisco to host the New York Yankees in an exhibition contest.
  • The souvenir scorecard from “Roy Campanella Night” at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum features a drawing of “Campy” in his “LA” cap by renowned artist Nicholas Volpe on the cover.The souvenir scorecard from “Roy Campanella Night” at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum features a drawing of “Campy” in his “LA” cap by renowned artist Nicholas Volpe on the cover.
  • A major league record crowd of 93,103 attends the “Roy Campanella Night” exhibition game between the Dodgers and the New York Yankees at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on May 7, 1959. Even though Campy never had played in Los Angeles, the fans wanted to salute him. Some 15,000 more fans were turned away in the sell-out.A major league record crowd of 93,103 attends the “Roy Campanella Night” exhibition game between the Dodgers and the New York Yankees at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on May 7, 1959. Even though Campy never had played in Los Angeles, the fans wanted to salute him. Some 15,000 more fans were turned away in the sell-out.
  • Roz Wyman, Los Angeles City Councilwoman from the Fifth District, extends the council’s best wishes to Roy Campanella as part of an in-game tribute to him on May 7, 1959. A baseball fan for many years, Wyman was the driving force in attracting the Dodgers to Los Angeles from Brooklyn.Roz Wyman, Los Angeles City Councilwoman from the Fifth District, extends the council’s best wishes to Roy Campanella as part of an in-game tribute to him on May 7, 1959. A baseball fan for many years, Wyman was the driving force in attracting the Dodgers to Los Angeles from Brooklyn.
  • Walter O’Malley thought so highly of Campanella that he said in 1953 that he would guarantee him a position as a manager in the Dodger minor league system. Instead, following his debilitating automobile accident, O’Malley and his son, Peter, would offer Campy a position in the Dodger front office in Community Relations and as a special instructor to the organization’s catchers. He accepted and worked for the club from 1978 until his passing on June 26, 1993.Walter O’Malley thought so highly of Campanella that he said in 1953 that he would guarantee him a position as a manager in the Dodger minor league system. Instead, following his debilitating automobile accident, O’Malley and his son, Peter, would offer Campy a position in the Dodger front office in Community Relations and as a special instructor to the organization’s catchers. He accepted and worked for the club from 1978 until his passing on June 26, 1993.