Baseball Card Collecting
1949 Bowman #84 Roy Campanella
Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Famer Roy "Campy" Campanella was one of baseball's greatest catchers and one of the early African American players to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball. His 1949 Bowman rookie card is highly sought after and a significant challenge to find in gem condition.
The son of an Italian American father and an African American mother, Campy was barred from the Major League during his early career. He was a star player for the Negro League's Baltimore Elite Giants and also played several seasons for the Mexican League's Monterray Sultans. Campy's first season with the Dodgers was in 1948, the year following Jackie Robinson's game-changing first season. He went on to have a stellar Major League career. He played in every All-Star game from 1949-56, was named National League MVP three times, and hit 242 home runs in his 10-year career.
Campanella's career was cut tragically short in 1958 when a car accident left him paralyzed from the neck down. Although he would eventually regain some mobility he would spend the rest of his life in wheelchair.
The 1949 Bowman card is Campanella's rookie card; it is in high demand and one of the keys to the series. The naturally narrow borders of this series make centering a significant challenge. Condition of the card's reverse can also be an issue with staining from wax and gum frequently creating problems.
Text from card reverse:
Dodgers first took serious note of Roy when he played an exhibition game with Negro All-Stars at Ebbets Field. They later signed and farmed him out to Nashua, New Hampshire. When Dodgers needed help last season they called Roy in from St. Paul where he had been hitting .325. He appeared in 83 games for Brooklyn, slugged out 9 homers and batted in 45 runs. A great prospect.