On Nov. 27, 1953, Brooklyn Dodgers catcher Roy Campanella was named the National League MVP. It was Campanella’s second time winning the award, which he took home again for a third and final time in 1955.
During the 1953 season, Campanella’s sixth with the Dodgers, he hit .312/.395/.611 with 26 doubles, 41 home runs, 142 RBI and a 154 OPS+. It was a bounce-back campaign for the catcher, who struggled the year prior due to multiple injuries.
His RBI were most in the NL that season and stood as an all-time high for catchers until 1970. Campanella helped lead the Dodgers to a second consecutive NL pennant but his effectiveness in the World Series was limited after being hit by a pitch in Game 1.
The Yankees went on to defeat the Dodgers in six games for a fifth straight World Series title. Campanella went 6-for-22 with a home run, two RBI and two walks in the Fall Classic.
Campanella’s playing career came to a tragic end when he was paralyzed in an accident in January 1958. Thus, he was prevented the opportunity of playing for the franchise after their move to Los Angeles.
Over 10 seasons with the Dodgers, Campanella hit .276/.360/.500 with 178 doubles, 242 home runs and 856 RBI in 1,215 career games, was an eight-time All-Star from 1949-56, and helped guide the team to five NL championships and one World Series.
Campanella passed away at the age of 71 in June 1993.
Roy Campanella Award
The Dodgers continue to honor their famed catcher by annually presenting the Roy Campanella Award to a player in the organization “who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame catcher.”
Jason Heyward became the latest to receive the honor, which is voted on by Dodgers uniformed personnel.
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