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Utley wins club's Roy Campanella Award

Dodgers present honor to player who displays leadership qualities
MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- Veteran infielder Chase Utley was named winner of the 11th annual Roy Campanella Award, given to the Dodger who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame Brooklyn catcher.

The award, voted upon by Dodgers uniform personnel, will be presented to Utley by Campanella's daughter, Joni Campanella Roan, and his grandson, Cary Bell, during pregame ceremonies Saturday.

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LOS ANGELES -- Veteran infielder Chase Utley was named winner of the 11th annual Roy Campanella Award, given to the Dodger who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame Brooklyn catcher.

The award, voted upon by Dodgers uniform personnel, will be presented to Utley by Campanella's daughter, Joni Campanella Roan, and his grandson, Cary Bell, during pregame ceremonies Saturday.

View Full Game Coverage

"Any time you get complimented by the guys you're going to battle with, that's really the ultimate compliment," said Utley. "We all grind, we all have good mojo right now. Obviously, it's a great award, it's an honor just to be mentioned in the same sentence as Campanella. A lot of guys in this clubhouse are deserving of that award."

Previous winners of the award are Rafael Furcal, Russell Martin, James Loney, Juan Pierre, Jamey Carroll, Matt Kemp, A.J. Ellis, Clayton Kershaw (twice) and Zack Greinke.

"That's a fitting award for Chase from your peers, the utmost amount of respect," said manager Dave Roberts. "The way we go about playing every pitch, that's what Chase does. As I said today, I've learned a ton of things watching him day to day. We certainly wouldn't be here without him."

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Utley, acquired from Philadelphia for last year's stretch run, rebounded from an injury-plagued 2015 to become the Dodgers' primary second baseman and leadoff hitter this year. In addition to a .254 average, 12 homers and 50 RBIs, Utley has assumed a leadership role and has been instrumental in the rapid development of shortstop Corey Seager, the likely National League Rookie of the Year and an MVP candidate.

Campanella, who began his career in the Negro Leagues, was a three-time National League Most Valuable Player, eight-time All-Star and a member of the 1955 World Championship team. He played in five World Series and his 142 RBIs in 1953 set a franchise record. He never played in Los Angeles after suffering a paralyzing auto accident in the winter before the Dodgers' first season in California. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969 and died in 1993 at the age of 71.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Chase Utley