The 20 greatest Dodgers of all time, No. 6: Roy Campanella
We recently asked you to list your choices for the 10 greatest Dodgers of all time, and vote you did, as we received an amazing 12,231 ballots. So many people voted that we have decided to expand the list from the top 10 to the top 20. Each weekday at 11 a.m. PDT, a new person will be listed as we count down all 20.
Remember, any Dodger, Brooklyn or L.A., was eligible, including managers, owners, announcers, etc. Points were assigned based on where you listed the person on the ballot. Your first choice received 12 points, second choice 10, third place eight, all the way down to one point for 10th place.
So without further ado, here is No. 6:
No. 6: Roy Campanella (41 first-place votes, 53,000 points)
One of the greatest catchers of all time, Roy Campanella began his Dodgers career in 1948 and played with the team until his career was cut short after the 1957 season.
In that time, all he did was: Win three NL MVP awards, make eight All-Star teams, hit 242 homers, have a .500 slugging percentage and play Gold Glove-worthy defense behind the plate.
Campanella received the NL MVP award in 1951, 1953 and 1955. In 1955, he led the Dodgers to their first World Series title. His 142 RBIs in 1953 broke the franchise record of 130, which had been held by Jack Fournier (1925) and Babe Herman (1930) and is still second all time to Tommy Davis’ 153 in 1962.
The Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles after the 1957 season, and Campanella was all set to be the team’s starting catcher in L.A. On Jan. 28, 1958, while driving in New York, Campanella’s car hit a patch of ice, ran into a telephone pole and overturned. Campanella broke his neck in the accident and was paralyzed. He eventually regained use of his arms, but Campanella remained in a wheelchair for the rest of his life before passing away on June 26, 1993.
On May 7, 1959, the Dodgers honored their long-time catcher with Roy Campanella Night at the L.A. Coliseum. The Dodgers played the New York Yankees in an exhibition game before a crowd of 93,103, the largest crowd to attend a Major League Baseball game.
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