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On this date in 1921, we mark the birth of Roy Campanella, a Black baseball player.
"Campy," as he was called, was from Homestead, PA. He began playing semiprofessional baseball on the Nicetown, Philadelphia, sandlots when he was 13, and at 15, he was signed to play in the Negro Leagues. One of his first teams was the Baltimore Elite Giants. He joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948 and was their regular catcher from 1949 until an automobile accident after the 1957 season left him paralyzed.
During his Major League Baseball playing career, he was named the National League's most valuable player three times--in 1951, 1953, and 1955. He was recognized as the best fielding catcher in the 1950s. He was also known for his hitting and, in 1953, led the league in runs batted in (142), and he hit 41 home runs. He played in five World Series--1949, 1952-53, 1955-56. His autobiography, "It's Good to Be Alive," was published in 1959. Campy was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.
Roy Campanella died on June 26, 1993, in Woodland Hills, near Los Angeles, California.
20th Century Baseball Chronicle
Year-By-Year History of Major league Baseball
Copyright 1999, Publications International Ltd.