Yogi Berra’s only serious rival for the title of “Greatest Catcher of All Time.”
“You have to have a lot of little boy in you to play baseball for a living.”
Roy “Campy” Campanella spent a decade with the Brooklyn Dodgers (1948-1957), and was one of the two best catchers in baseball; his only serious rival was the Yankees’ Yogi Berra. The Dodgers and Yankees dominated their leagues during that period, and each catcher received three MVP awards.
An eight-time All-Star team member, Campanella led the Brooklyn Dodgers to five World Series showdowns. One of the premiere catchers to ever play the game, he was named MVP in 1951, 1953 and 1955.
Campanella caught 1,215 games in his 10 seasons, boasted a lifetime batting average of.276, and had 242 home runs and 856 RBIs.
He retired in 1957, and suffered debilitating injuries in a car accident the next year. He was left paralyzed. Campanella’s autobiography, “It’s Good to be Alive”, told the story of his struggle to overcome the effects of his auto accident, and was made into a movie for television by Michael Landon in 1974.
He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969, and elected to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. Roy Campanella died on June 26, 1993, in Woodland Hills, California.