The 1955 World Series is one of the true triumphs in franchise history as the then-Brooklyn Dodgers toppled the New York Yankees for their first championship title.
The Dodgers were led by a plethora of Hall of Famers including Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson and Duke Snider. However, the MVP of the series that year was pitcher Johnny Podres.
On this day in Dodgers history — March 6, 2001 — statues depicting Podres pitching to Roy Campanella for the final out in Game 7 of the 1955 World Series were officially unveiled. The statues are still standing today in Cooperstown, New York, at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Designed by Stanley Bleifeld and donated by Dodgers fanatic Sheldon Fireman, they can be found on the south lawn of the property.
Podres put the finishing touches on a gem in this game, limiting the Yankees to just eight hits in a complete game shutout. Across the World Series, Podres threw two complete games — both in victories — and ended with a 1.00 ERA.
Campanella is one of the most iconic members of the Dodgers’ illustrious history and he held his own in the 1955 World Series as well. “Campy” crushed a home run in both Games 3 and 4 that helped lead Brooklyn to victory.
Both Podres and Campanella were well deserving of the statues considering their contributions to the Dodgers’ first championship in franchise history. Beating the Yankees in 1955 was even sweeter considering the Dodgers had fallen to them five prior occasions in the Fall Classic.
Podres would remain with the Dodgers into their move to Los Angeles, pitching 14 seasons in total for the club. He was a four-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion by the time he retired.
The end to Campanella’s career was far less triumphant and far more abrupt as he was sadly paralyzed after an accident 1958. He still had an excellent career that featured three MVPs, 11 All-Star selections, and a batting title.
Campanella’s career was shorter than it should have been considering the color barrier that existed for his first 11 professional seasons that were played in the Negro Leagues.
Dodgers annually celebrate Campanella
The Dodgers franchise recognizes the Hall of Fame catcher each season with the Roy Campanella Award.
It’s also known as the “Most Inspirational Dodger” and is given annually to one player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of Campanella. It’s voted on by uniformed Dodgers personnel (players and coaches).
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