Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Zack Greinke was named the recipient of the 10th annual Roy Campanella Award, or the “most inspirational Dodger”. The award is bestowed upon a Dodger player that best encompasses the spirit and leadership of the late and great Hall-of-Fame catcher.
Greinke was chosen by fellow players and coaches to receive the award and is slated to be honored by Campanella’s daughter Joni prior to Sunday’s game. Past winners of the honor include Matt Kemp, A.J. Ellis, and Clayton Kershaw, a two-time winner.
The Roy Campanella Award is what figures to be the first of many awards for Greinke, who has been on a tear all year long.
This season he has put together one of the most impressive displays by a pitcher in recent memory. He has a record of 18-3 along with an MLB-leading 1.68 ERA, a 2.75 FIP and a 0.85 WHIP.
Other accolades on the season for the right-hander include being selected to his second consecutive All-Star game, third all-time, as well as being named the starter in that game. He was the first Dodgers pitcher to be named All-Star starter since Brad Penny in 2006.
In his illustrious career, Campanella was a three-time National League MVP, eight-time All-Star and a World Series Champion. He started in the Negro Leagues, but persevered and eventually found monumental success in the Majors. Unfortunately he was later involved in a car accident that ended his playing career but his spirit has remained in the game.
Greinke exemplifies the inspirational character and spirit of Campanella as a teammate both on and off the field, he was the right man for the job.