Issue Date: July 15, 2006
City: Bronx, NY
Printed by: Avery Dennison
Printing method: Photogravure
Perforations: Die cut 10 ¾
Roy Campanella (1921-93) was a catcher in the American Negro Leagues and Major League Baseball. Born in Philadelphia of a black mother and an Italian father, he began his baseball career in 1937 in a local team. The Baltimore Elite Giants of the Negro National League recruited him that same year, though he was still in school and could play only on weekends. The next year, however, he joined the team full-time.
Campanella signed a Brooklyn Dodgers’ contract in 1946. He became the first catcher to break organized baseball’s color line when he debuted in the Majors in 1948. A smart and skilled catcher with an accurate, fast throwing arm, he was also impressive at bat. In the 1953 season, he hit 41 home runs, a record that lasted until 1996. He averaged more than 85 runs batted-in per year over the course of his career.
Campanella played every All-Star Game from 1949 to 1956 and was in the 1949, 1952, 1953, and 1955, and 1956 World Series. In 1969, he was the second African-American player inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
After a car accident on an icy street in 1958, Roy Campanella was paralyzed from the chest down. He was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.