Sporting News released their “Every MLB Team’s Greatest Catcher of All Time” list today, and the Los Angeles Dodgers had Roy Campanella selected as the team’s greatest backstop. It’s something that shouldn’t shock anyone, but it’s still fantastic to see him justly honored.
The only other catcher that could even be argued for that top spot instead of Campanella would probably be Mike Piazza, but there’s no reason to ever put Piazza over Campanella as far as being a pure player goes. It’s Campanella all day, every day. It’s one of the easiest decisions out there.
Here’s the Sporting News on Roy Campanella:
With three NL MVP awards, eight All-Star selections and a plaque in Cooperstown, Roy Campanella is easily the greatest Dodgers catcher of all time.
No disagreement there. Campanella finished his Dodgers career with 242 home runs, 856 runs batted in, and a lifetime .860 OPS. When going through the annals of baseball lore, you often will stumble across Campanella as one of the greatest two-way catchers of all-time. The man could do it all.
His Hall of Fame career was a strong blend of defensive and offensive prowess, accumulating 34.2 WAR in 10 seasons.
One of the greatest sorrows in baseball was how abruptly Campanella’s career was cut short due to an automobile accident in January 1958. The ever-popular catcher was paralyzed from his shoulders down, and he would never play a game again. It’s truly one of the saddest things.
Campanella will forever be known as the greatest catcher in Dodgers history, and it doesn’t seem like there’ll be too much of an argument against it. He was just that dang good. He threw out 57% of baserunners in his career, a mark that still stands as the top caught stealing percentage of all-time.
No one can top Campy. No one.