Jan 28, 1958 - The blink of an eye
Submitted by BTGrimes on Mon, 01/28/2013 - 7:00am
Campanella seriously injured
GLEN CLOVE, NEW YORK - There was unsettling news on this day in 1958. Early that morning Roy Campanella of the Brooklyn Dodgers was on his way home to Glen Cove, Long Island after closing the Harlem liquor store he owned when his car hit a patch of ice. The vehicle flipped over and apparently hit a light pole. The robust, rock-like catcher's neck was broken by the impact. Several vertebrae were fractured. It wasn't immediately certain if he would survive. As it turned out Campanella pulled through, but would never walk again, he was paralyzed from the shoulders down. He would later regain considerable use of his arms and hands through therapy.
Roy Campanella's positive spirit, at least outwardly, did not diminish. The Philadelphia native remained employed by the now Los Angeles Dodgers, working with young catchers in the organization. He later became assistant to the director of community relations.
Roy Campanella's playing career is not looked upon glowingly because it was cut short. He was one of the greatest catchers of all time. In a ten year career he was an all-star eight times, Most Valuable Player three times, hit 242 home runs, had 856 RBI and a lifetime batting average of .276. He had a .988 fielding percentage.
Roy Campanella died of a heart attack June 26, 1993 at the age of 71.