LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that infielder Jamey Carroll was named the winner of the fifth annual Roy Campanella Award, which is given to the Dodger player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame catcher. The award, which was voted upon by Dodger uniform personnel, will be presented to Carroll by Campanella’s daughter, Joni Campanella Roan, during an on-field news conference this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. and both will take part in a pregame ceremony prior to tonight’s game.
The award presentation will also coincide with the announcement of a long-term partnership between the Dodgers Dream Foundation (DDF), California State University, Northridge and the Campanella family that will ensure the legacy of the Hall of Famer catcher for years to come. The DDF will make an annual financial contribution to support the Roy and Roxie Campanella Physical Therapy Scholarship Endowment at CSUN while also providing an internship opportunity within the Dodgers’ medical department each season for a student from the university’s physical therapy program.
Dodger shortstop Rafael Furcal received the inaugural Roy Campanella Award in 2006 and since then the honor has been bestowed to Russell Martin (2007), James Loney (2008), Juan Pierre (2009) and now Carroll.
In his first season with the Dodgers, Carroll is hitting .295 with 48 runs scored and a team-leading .383 on-base percentage in 129 games. The versatile infielder has played 64 games at shortstop, 44 at second base, 11 at third and five in left field. He has made just six errors on the season, despite 429 total chances at the four positions.
Carroll has been stellar in place of oft-injured starting shortstop Rafael Furcal and ended up shattering his career highs in games (68), starts (64) and innings (565.0) at short. The Indiana native owns a .985 fielding percentage at the position this season, which ranks third among all Major League shortstops (min. 60 games). When Furcal was out from April 28-May 5, Carroll played in 25 straight contests (24 starts) and the Dodgers rolled to a 17-8 record during that time.
In addition to his hustle out of the batter’s box and knack for making the tough play, Carroll is hitting .326 (61-for-187) at home and ranks second on the team in walks with 50, despite having only 342 at-bats. Carroll is also batting .360 with two outs and .326 with runners in scoring position and two out.
In August, he led the club with a .322 average and ranked seventh in the National League with a .419 on-base percentage. The 36-year-old also put together a terrific June (.344) and is currently hitting .361 in September. Carroll hit .500 (6-for-12) as a pinch-hitter this season and .331 against the NL West.
Carroll, who like new Manager Don Mattingly is from Evansville, IN, will return to the club next season and plans to once again be active in the Los Angeles community. This year Carroll took part in an MLBPA clinic at the Urban Youth Academy and was featured in the Dodgers’ Heart Gallery Calendar, which featured children from the Los Angeles County Department of Family Services.
Campanella was a three-time National League Most Valuable Player (1951, 1953, and 1955), eight-time All-Star, and a member of the 1955 World Championship team. He played in five World Series and his 142 RBI in 1953 set a franchise record, since surpassed by Tommy Davis (153 in 1962). In 1,215 career games during a 10-year career, all with the Dodgers, he batted .276 with 242 home runs and 856 RBI.
He began his career in the Negro Leagues, establishing himself as one of the top catchers in the league before joining the Dodger organization in 1946. Campanella played for Class B Nashua of the New England League, making that club the first integrated affiliated baseball team in the United States.
On Jan. 29, 1958, just as the Dodgers were making final preparations for their move to Los Angeles, Campanella was involved in a tragic car accident that paralyzed him from the neck down, marking the end of his playing career. On May 7, 1959, a Major League record-setting 93,103 fans filled the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on “Roy Campanella Night” for an exhibition game between the Dodgers and Yankees.
He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969 and was among the first three Dodgers to have their uniform numbers retired alongside Robinson and Sandy Koufax. Campanella remained active in the Dodgers’ Community Relations Department until his passing on June 26, 1993 at the age of 71.