Friday, October 16, 2015

Historic Figure: Roy Campanella - Cooperstown, NY

Roy Campanella
Cooperstown, NY

N 42° 41.990 W 074° 55.398

Short Description: 

A statue of National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher for the Brooklyn Dogers, Roy Campanella, is located on the south lawn of the National Baseball Hall of Fame at 25 Main Street, Cooperstown, NY.

Long Description:

A pair of life size bronze sculptures recreates the Brooklyn Dodgers battery, the catcher and pitcher, from the seventh and deciding game of the 1955 World Series. Behind home plate is a statue of Dodger catcher Roy Campanella. He is shown squatting while wearing the customary protective gear worn by a catcher. His left hand has a catcher glove with a ball caught in the pocket. His right hand is raising his protective mask which would indicate that the batter struck out and the inning is over. A sculpture of the pitcher, Johnny Podres is located the standard distance of 6'6" away.

Roy Campanella is standing on a five sided plinth that is shaped like home plate. A second five sided stone plaque representing home plate is inscribed:


Cast Bronze
Stanley Bleifeld

These sculptures, modeled after the 1955 World Series
Game Seven Battery of Johnny Podres and Roy Campanella
were donated by an ardent fan Sheldon Fireman
in memory of all the hours he stood outside Ebbets Field
hoping beyond hope to collect an autograph
from anyone who ever played there.

May they put a smile on the faces of
all of the wonderful fans of baseball
Sheldon Fireman, July, 2001

Roy Campanella was born on November 19, 1921. His father was the son of Sicilian immigrants and his mother was African-American. Because of his mixed race he was not allowed to play in the Major Leagues. In 1937, he playing Negro league baseball for the Washington then Baltimore Elite Giants. He became a star player. He signed a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers' minor league system in 1946, as the Dodger organization began preparations to break the Major League Baseball "color barrier." He was called up to the major leagues and played his first game for the Dodgers on April 20, 1948. In 1955, he was voted the national League's Most Valuable Player and led Brooklyn to its first-ever World Series championship.

On January 28, 1958, he was involved in an automobile accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down, ending his baseball career. He was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969. Campanella died of heart failure on June 26, 1993.

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