Saturday, July 24, 2010

Catching On

Tonight the 1955 World Series Champion Dodgers are being celebrated at the Mets - Dodgers game in Los Angeles.  If there is one team I would've loved to watch, it has to be the Boys Of Summer.  I read that book and really didn't want it to end.  Not only did that book introduce me to one of the most entertaining teams ever, it introduced my to my favorite player that I never got to watch.

Roy Campanella was the catcher for the Dodgers of the 1950s.  His playing career was cut short due to an automobile accident that left him paralyzed below his shoulders.  He played his last season in 1957, never having the chance to play in Los Angeles.  He is in the Hall of Fame due to a career that included eight All Star selections, three National League MVP awards, and the one World Series championship in 1955.  He had his #39 retired by the Dodgers in 1972.

I don't know what it was about Roy Campanella that caught my attention.  The easy answer would be that he was the catcher, but it really was more than that.  His career came in an era of strong racial prejudice.  He persevered through all of it, while playing a position that required authority.  Even after the accident he worked hard to teach himself how to feed himself, and use his hands to gesture.  He simply was one of the strongest people in baseball.

He was truly thankful for everything he had.  He died in 1993, but he left an amazing legacy.  I loved reading about him and just wanted to let everybody know about the book he wrote.  It was originally published a year after the accident.  That in itself makes it pretty amazing.  It was impossible for me to stop reading this, and I got to make a really cool school project based on it as well.  Most of you won't be reading it for a project, but I would've enjoyed it just as much on its own.

The title says it all, It's Good To Be Alive.

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