This Day In Dodgers History: Roy Campanella Voted Into Baseball Hall Of Fame

On January 21, 1969, legendary Brooklyn Dodgers catcher Roy Campanella was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He received a vote on 79.4% of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) ballots.

Widely considered to be one of the greatest catchers in the history of the game, it took until the seventh time Campanella’s name was on the ballot that he got the nod to Cooperstown.

Originally born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Campanella played nine seasons in the Negro and Mexican Leagues before breaking into the Minors with the Dodgers organization in 1946.

Just two years later in 1948, Campanella made his MLB debut and began a stretch of 10 consecutive seasons with the Dodgers. Along the way he proved to be one of the most decorated Dodgers and helped aid in the African-American integration with teammate Jackie Robinson.

A career .283 batter with over 1,400 hits and 1,000 RBI, Campanella’s most poignant seasons occurred in 1951, 1953 and 1955. He not only had a minimum .300 batting average, 30 home runs and 100 RBI during that span, but won three National League MVP Awards as well.

In addition to MVP honors in 1955, Campanella was also an integral part of Brooklyn’s first-ever World Series victory.

A masterful catcher, who was also named an All-Star eight consecutive years from 1948-1957, Campanella was joined only by Stan Musial as the two members of the 1969 Hall of Fame class inductees.

Although he would remain an integral part of the Dodgers organization for many years to follow, Campanella sadly lost his ability to play baseball after a horrific car crash in 1958. That prevented him from playing for the team after their move to Los Angeles.

Dodgers continue Roy Campanella’s legacy with yearly award

Allowing the legacy of Campanella to live on beyond his death in 1993, the Dodgers have bestowed one individual the recipient of an award adorning his name to “the one player from the franchise who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame catcher” for the past 17 years.

Freddie Freeman took home the prestigious honor for the 2022 season, the Roy Campanella Award is annually regarded as one of most important elements of the entire franchise.

In addition to his namesake on the award, the organization retired Campanella’s No. 39, Robinson’s No. 42 and Sandy Koufax’s No. 32 in 1972.

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