Justin Turner to Receive 14th Annual Roy Campanella Award

justin-turner
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The Dodgers announced on Friday afternoon that third baseman Justin Turner was named the winner of the 14th annual Roy Campanella Award, which is given to the Dodger player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame catcher. The award, which was voted upon by Dodger uniformed personnel, will be presented to Turner by Campanella’s daughter, Joni Campanella Roan, and his grandson, Malcom Campanella, before Saturday night’s contest against the Rockies.

Former Dodger shortstop Rafael Furcal received the inaugural Roy Campanella Award in 2006. Since then, the honor has been awarded to Russell Martin (2007), James Loney (2008), Juan Pierre (2009), Jamey Carroll (2010), Matt Kemp (2011), A.J. Ellis (2012), Clayton Kershaw (2013-14), Zack Greinke (2015), Chase Utley (2016, 2018) and Turner (2017, 2019).

Turner, 34, becomes the third Dodger to win the award twice, joining Kershaw, who won back-to-back Campanella Awards in 2013 and 2014, and Utley, who won in 2016 and 2018. Turner was initially signed by the Dodgers as a non-roster free agent with an invitation to spring training prior to the 2014 season. Since that time, he has been a star both on and off the field, while also serving as an exemplary leader inside the clubhouse.

In 131 games this season, Turner is hitting .291 with a career high-tying 27 home runs, 67 RBI, a career-best 80 runs scored, a .370 on-base percentage and an .884 OPS. Turner has started 116 games at third base and with nine games to play, owns the best fielding percentage of his career at the hot corner with a mark of .873.

The Long Beach native belted 10 home runs in August, the most homers he has ever hit in a calendar month, while hitting .322 (6th, NL) on the road with a .942 OPS. Since arriving in Los Angeles, Turner ranks among the National League leaders in batting average (.302, T-4th), on-base percentage (.381, 8th) and OPS (.888, 10th).

The former Cal-State Fullerton standout is looking forward to next month in the postseason, where he has been exceptional since joining the Dodgers. In 49 career-postseason games, turner is hitting .313 (56-for-179) with seven homers, 30 RBI and a .420 OBP.

Turner has also set an example for his teammates off the field in the community, having been named the Dodgers’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award in both 2017 and 2018. He frequently makes community appearances on behalf of the team and often schedules his own visits to children’s hospitals and to the Los Angeles Dream Center—a nonprofit that assists homeless families with residential, foster care, medical, life skills and other services.

Campanella was a three-time National League Most Valuable Player (1951, 1953 and 1955), eight-time All-Star and a member of the 1955 World Championship team. He played in five World Series and his 142 RBI in 1953 set a franchise record, since surpassed by Tommy Davis (153 in 1962). In 1,215 career games during a 10-year career, all with the Dodgers, he batted .276 with 242 home runs and 856 RBI.

He began his career in the Negro Leagues, establishing himself as one of the top catchers in the league before joining the Dodger organization in 1946. Campanella played for Class B Nashua of the New England League, making that club the first integrated affiliated baseball team in the United States.

On Jan. 29, 1958, just as the Dodgers were making final preparations for their move to Los Angeles, Campanella was involved in a tragic car accident that paralyzed him from the neck down, marking the end of his playing career. On May 7, 1959, a major league record-setting 93,103 fans filled the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on “Roy Campanella Night” for an exhibition game between the Dodgers and Yankees.

He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969 and was among the first three Dodgers to have their uniform numbers retired alongside Jackie Robinson and Sandy Koufax. Campanella remained active in the Dodgers’ Community Relations Department until his death on June 26, 1993 at the age of 71.

(Tiffany Seal furnished the majority of information provided in this report)

 

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10 thoughts on “Justin Turner to Receive 14th Annual Roy Campanella Award

  1. I was at the game in the Coliseum that night. 93,000 people showed up, they turned out the lights and everyone lit matches and cigarette lighters. I was 11 at the time and I think it was my first game at the Coliseum. It was an incredible experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They played the Yankees that night. I was not there, but there was a entire page of photo’s in the Times and Examiner. I used to read Bud Furillo’s column every day. Pee Wee wheeled him out. It was Pee Wee’s last year as an active player.

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  2. Congratulations to Justin. A exemplary person and a solid contributor to the Dodgers success since he was signed. Like Muncy and Taylor a very under the radar signing, but the credit for this one goes not to Friedman, but to Ned Colletti. Colletti left AF a solid foundation and a lot of his and Logan Whites draft choices are contributors to the Dodgers 7 year run. Andy Green fired by the Padres today. Simply could not overcome the talented, but not very experienced pitching staff. Trading away their best closer to Cleveland last year did not help. Machado has been good, but as with the Dodgers, no where near what he was in Baltimore…enjoy watching that dour individual for 9 more years. USC beats # 10 Utah with their back up quarterback having the game of his life. Over 300 yards passing and 3 TD’s. Tail Back U had 1 rushing TD, but barely 100 yards on the ground. Wisconsin hammering Michigan today. Alabama rolling over another school that does not even belong on the field with them. I really dislike this about college football. The top ranked teams playing patsy’s for a couple of games before they head into the meat of their schedule. Big 12 and SEC do that a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Supposedly the Padres are actually considering Bochy to replace Green, along with (among others) Scioscia and Ron Washington. Also Mark Loretta and Moises Alou but they’re only in their late 40’s or early 50’s so I’m guessing they’re too young for the job. I think they should also consider Dusty Baker, Tommy Lasorda and Casey Stengel.

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  4. For those who were thinking AF needed to bring in a major reliever to replace Kenley this July, we need to take note of the fact that Vazquez may never pitch in the majors again and Kimbrel gave up homers on his first two pitches against the Cards today. Final score Cards 9, Cubs 8, pretty much ending the Cubs chances for the post season
    Kenley looks pretty decent by comparison. Kimbrel has been absolutely brutal.

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    1. Kimbrel has an elbow injury. Another example of why you don’t overpay for a closer.

      Most of us weren’t looking for a replacement at the deadline, we were looking for a strong late game reliever. The kind of guy to close when Jansen pitched yesterday. Will Smith was my choice. He is still going strong and only makes $4 million.

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