Zack Greinke Wins 10th Annual Roy Campanella Award
LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that right-hander Zack Greinke was named the winner of the 10th 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 on by Dodger uniformed personnel, will be presented to Greinke by Campanella's daughter, Joni Campanella Roan, during pregame ceremonies Sunday.
Former Dodger shortstop Rafael Furcal received the inaugural Roy Campanella Award in 2006 and 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) and Clayton Kershaw (2013-14), who became the award's first two-time recipient.
The Campanella Award is the first of what figures to be a multitude of awards the right-hander will take home after this season. Greinke currently leads the Majors in ERA (1.68), winning percentage (.857, 18-3), WHIP (0.85) and quality starts (29), while ranking among the big league leaders in opponents' batting average (.188, 2nd) and innings pitched (214.2, 7th) in 31 starts this year. His 18 wins are a career high and his ERA is on pace to be the lowest in the Majors since 1995 (Greg Maddux, 1.63).
Greinke tied a Major League record, also held by Orel Hershiser and Don Drysdale, with six consecutive scoreless starts between June 18-July 19, with his scoreless inning streak ending on July 26 at 45.2 frames, the fourth-longest streak in the Expansion Era (since 1961). Overall, he has made 11 scoreless starts and allowed one or fewer runs in 20 outings, while pitching at least 6.0 innings in each of his 31 starts. The only other pitcher in Los Angeles history with more starts of 6.0+ innings to open a season was Andy Messersmith (34, 1975).
Greinke was selected to his second consecutive and third-career All-Star Game, and started the Midsummer Classic for the National League team, becoming the first Dodger pitcher to do so since Brad Penny in 2006. He was also honored as the National League's co-Player of the Week for the period ending July 19. Since signing with Los Angeles as a free agent prior to the 2013 season, Greinke has gone 50-15 with a 2.32 ERA in 91 starts.
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 Koufax. Campanella remained active in the Dodgers' Community Relations Department until his death on June 26, 1993 at the age of 71.