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Campy/Roseboro Transition

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  • Campy/Roseboro Transition

    By 1957, the 35 year old Campy was at the end of his run. How well do you think Roseboro would have been blended in or do you think it would have been too painful to bench Campy, much the same way an older Pee Wee would have been.
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  • #2
    I remember we had an interesting discussion about the lack of heirs to Reese a while back, Shotgun. Looking again, 1957 was the transition year for Pee Wee, where he played a lot of 3B. Then his playing time was curbed in '58.

    Campy only played 100 games in '57 (and 121 the year before), and Roseboro was a qualified heir apparent. So I think the blending would have happened in '58 even in Roy hadn't had his accident. Rube Walker and Joe Pignatano were still on hand in '58, but they were career backups, part-timers at most.

    Campy never played another position in the majors, and I doubt they would have experimented with him at 1B, since Hodges was still capable. It's not farfetched to think that Roy would have missed a fair number of games, and if he wasn't producing, the club would have curbed his time as they did Pee Wee's.

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    • #3
      An interesting fact about Roseboro, he played in over 1500 games, all but 13 as a catcher. Yet his first five games as a major leaguer were at first base as a fill in for Gil Hodges who bruised his ribs in a brawl with the Milwaukee Braves in 1957.
      Lets get Eddie Basinski elected to the Polish Sports Hall of Fame.
      www.brooklyndodgermemories.com

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      • #4
        Rube Walker caught 50 games in 1957 when Campy caught only 100 that year. Walker couldn't hit his way out of a paper bag though, so Roseboro certainly was the choice. I think the question is more interesting if the Dodgers didn't move. That whole great squad was getting older, change was inevitable. I think the move made the transition easier because the Angelenos could admire the Brooklyn players but had no loyalty to them. They wanted their own heroes.

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        • #5
          Would have been interesting to see how Roseboro (lefty hitter) and that short (but high) Ebbets Field right field wall would have interacted over time.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by EbtsFldGuy
            Would have been interesting to see how Roseboro (lefty hitter) and that short (but high) Ebbets Field right field wall would have interacted over time.
            Thats an interesting point. In reality, the Dodgers didn't have Roseboro rated that high as a catcher. After Campy's accident in 1958 they were scrambling around trying to make a deal but other teams weren't interested in helping them out. Walker, Pignatano, and Norm Sherry were all given chances. it was even suggested that Gil Hodges go back to his origonal position, but Gil shot that down in a hurry. Roseboro was in the right spot at the right time.
            Lets get Eddie Basinski elected to the Polish Sports Hall of Fame.
            www.brooklyndodgermemories.com

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            • #7
              Another PS here: Doug Camilli, son of Dolph, also backed up Roseboro from 1960 through 1964.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tonypug View Post
                An interesting fact about Roseboro, he played in over 1500 games, all but 13 as a catcher. Yet his first five games as a major leaguer were at first base as a fill in for Gil Hodges who bruised his ribs in a brawl with the Milwaukee Braves in 1957.
                Johnny Roseboro was supposedly the real "brains" behind many of Drysdale's beanballs and brush backs. I remember watching Gil Hodges night at Ebbets Field in September of 1957, and Roseboro was the starting catcher. It might have been his first starting game. I asked Roseboro years later if he recalled it, and he indifferently gave me a loud resounding, "NO!" For some reason, Juan Marichal next entered my mind, and I didn't want to ask any more questions. Too bad Roseboro didn't have Campy's disposition, and was two thirds the catcher.
                Last edited by Let's Go Mets!; 01-12-2009, 10:05 AM.
                Let's Go Mets!
                New York Mets fan since 1962

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                • #9
                  In 58, starting catcher, would still have been Campy's job, the short fence at the colesieum was made for the way Campy hit. Seeing it first hand in 59, if Campy had been reasonably healthy for 58, I think his numbers would have been ok, maybe not his usual MVP standards, but good enough for him to keep the job for 59. In ebbets field I think with no help of a short porch 58 would have seen reduced time unless he had a "true" comeback season, however I think he would have remained with the team a little longer as long as he could contribute. He was still a good catcher even if his hitting was tailing off. I think 1960 either way would have been the year he would have retired. I think if the dodgers remained in brooklyn Pee wee also definitely would not have retired until 1960. I think the move really took the heart out of it for reese, hodges, snider, oisk (and only furillo posted decent numbers relative to what he always did in brooklyn) in 58. sure they were all older, but the rebound year of 59 for hodges and snider, tells you 58 should have been better for both of them and in brooklyn 59 would have been even a little better for both, especially duke. 58 though Campy was still "the" guy behind the plate unless it proved he couldn't do it any more or roseborro proved he was better. Battlin bake, the dodger dynamo

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                  • #10
                    Nothing new in this Huffington Post (!) piece on Campy, but still a nice summary:

                    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-k..._b_637732.html

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                    • #11
                      By 1957- actually earlier- Campanella's hands were ruined. Because of this he was only a shell of his former self, both offensively and defensively. Because of his injuries- and advancing age- he was done as a premier player. It is possible, perhaps even likely, that he would have started in 58, particularly since the management would have wanted to see if he could pop flies over the left field screen. But, I think his injuries woiuld have been too much, and Roseboro or Walker would have gotten increasing playing time as the season progressed.

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