This day in baseball: Campanella’s first MVP

Roy Campanella won the first of his three National League MVP Awards on November 1, 1951.  The Dodger catcher went on to also receive the honor in 1953 and 1955.

campanella


“A Change of Heart,” by Barbara Feeney

This poem, published by the New York Daily News in 1958, was written from the perspective of a Dodgers fan.  Understandably, she’s feeling a bit conflicted about the team’s move to the west coast.

*

The Bums are gone; good, I’m
glad!
O’Malley used to make me
mad.
Those old short fences, ciggie
ads
And bright beer signs were
passing fads.
That winning spirit couldn’t
last
When Robby’s playing days
were past.
The ecstacy of
’55
When Podres kept our hopes
alive
Are locked with scorecards,
photographs
Forgotten — with the million
laughs
Of bleacher days. But who
cares now?
I’ll never miss them,
anyhow.

But, then — a bulletin comes
through
A flash from
WNEW
It’s Campanella! And they
say
That Roy was nearly
killed today.
Paralysis! The tragic
end
Of Campy’s ever-winning
bend.
Who can forget the impish
grin
Accompanying every Dodger
win?
The ever-crouching
“39”
Assuring fans that all is
fine
Thrice MVP, the catching
ace
Who figured in each pennant
race
Was loved by each and every
fan
Who rooted for that Brooklyn
clan.
And now, the world has tumbled
down,
The prayers of a united
town
Today are flooding heaven’s
gate
For Brooklyn’s favorite
battery mate.

We never thought we’d feel this
way
When first they took out for
LA
But Campy’s crash has taught
us all
We’re Dodger fans still,
Spring to Fall.
No matter where they choose to
roam,
The hearts of Brooklyn are
their home.


This day in baseball

On November 27, 1953,  Roy Campanella was named the National League’s MVP for the second time.  He finished the 1953 season with a .312 batting average, 41 home runs, and 142 RBIs. The Dodger catcher had also earned the award in 1951 and went on to win the honor again in 1955, joining Stan Musial as the NL’s second three-time recipient of the award.

campanella

Getty Images


This day in baseball: Multiple MVP catchers

On November 6, 1972, Johnny Bench won the National League Most Valuable Player award for the second time in three years.  This makes him only the fourth backstop up to this time to win the award multiple times.  He joins Mickey Cochrane (1928 A’s, 1934 Tigers), Yogi Berra (1951, ’54 Yankees), and Roy Campanella (1951, ’53, ’55 Dodgers) in this achievement.

 

Bench Johnny CR73-555_Bat_NBLMcWilliams

Baseball Hall of Fame

 


This day in baseball: Bye, bye Braves

The Braves played their final game in Boston on September 21, 1952.  The last home run hit at Braves Field was hit by Roy Campanella of the Dodgers as Brooklyn defeated the Braves, 8-2.  The Braves would be headed to Milwaukee for the 1953 season.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia


This day in baseball

The demolition of Ebbets Field began on February 23, 1960, a little over two years after the Brooklyn Dodgers had finished their final season in Brooklyn.  An urn of dirt from behind home plate was given to former catcher Roy Campanella.  In place of the stadium, apartment buildings rose, called Ebbets Field Apartments.

Ebbets Field Apartments, 2008 (Wikimedia Commons)

Ebbets Field Apartments, 2008 (Wikimedia Commons)


Quote of the day

You gotta be a man to play baseball for a living, but you gotta have a lot of little boy in you, too.

~Roy Campanella

SABR.org