Regarded as one of the best catchers of all-time, Roy Campanella played 10 season for the Brooklyn Dodgers before getting into a car accident that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down.
Campanella was a three-time MVP and voted into the All-Star game eight seasons. In an effort to aid with the daunting amount of medical bills Campanella had suddenly become burdened with, the Dodgers hosted an exhibition game against the New York Yankees at the L.A. Coliseum on May 7, 1959.
In front of 93,103 fans, which was a record at the time, Pee Wee Reese wheeled Campanella onto the field between the fifth and sixth innings with the lights turned off as the crowd lit matches and cigarette lighters to pay tribute to a player that had given the franchise everything he had.
Fans in attendance of the Dodgers home game on July 12 will have the opportunity to take home a Campanella and Reese Bobblehead, which was revealed via the team’s official Twitter account:
It is the 55th anniversary of Campanella Night. First look at the Pee Wee Reese & Roy Campanella Bobblehead (7/12): pic.twitter.com/QF3T9OK92A
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 7, 2014
Campanella’s accident stripped him of the opportunity to head west with the team as part of the move to Los Angeles. The legendary catcher sadly also was not part of the 1959 team that won the World Series. Campanella was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969 and passed away at the age of 71 in 1993.
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