A successful catcher is defined by his ability to handle the pitching staff, throw out would-be stealers, and keep errant throws and pitches in front of him. Roy Campanella possessed all these skills in addition to being one of the best hitting catchers of all-time. The man they called "Campy" was the complete package, leading National League catchers in putouts six times, and clubbing 242 home runs in his 10-year Major League career. From 1948-1957, Roy Campanella was securely anchored behind home plate for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He caught in five World Series, won the NL Most Valuable Player award in 1951, 1953 and 1955, and was the first black catcher in Major League Baseball history.
Of all the players Walter Alston’s granddaughter Kim Ogle got to know growing up in the Dodgers family, her strongest bond was formed with Roy Campanella. Stoutly built in her youth, Kim favored the catcher position as a player herself. Her physical traits, style of play, and affection for her Dodgers hero earned her the nickname “Little Campy”. Big Campy, knowing Kim from his many visits to the Alston home in Oxford, Ohio as well as her presence in the dugout and on the field as Grandpa would allow, returned her affection. As a token of that affection Campanella presented his young admirer with his glove, offered here, and his full set of catchers gear, offered in the following lot.
Sadly, Roy Campanella’s playing career ended in 1958 when he was paralyzed in an automobile accident. Campanella, however, remained involved with the Dodgers. In January, 1959 the Dodgers named him assistant supervisor of scouting for the eastern part of the United States and special coach at the team's annual spring training camp in Vero Beach, Florida, serving each year as a mentor and coach to young catchers in the Dodger organization. It was during a visit to spring training in 1959 that Kim was presented these items from Campanella directly.
This incredible Roy Campanella mitt is one of only a handful of examples attributed to the Brooklyn Dodger Hall of Famer that have has ever come on the market. Remnants of a red Rawlings label appear on the back of the glove. The professional quality glove is well used, including some post-Campanella use attributed to Kim. All of the lacing is firmly intact and the glove remains completely original and unrestored. It should be noted that we were unable to locate an image of Campanella using this exact model glove, however, the direct chain of custody is irrefutable.
Includes a LOA from the Alston Family.