Friday, February 04, 2011

Some Campanella History from the Infinite Baseball Card Set

If you've been a regular reader of my blog then you know how much I love The Infinite Baseball Card Set blog. Not only does Gary create beautiful looking pieces of cardboard art, but he also has the gift of a storytelling historian. Even if you could care less about cards and collectibles, you will enjoy his stories. Check out today's post called: "Roy Campanella: The Goat of the '42 Pennant Race."
Since the beginning of America's entry in World War II, various factions, both black and white, had been clamouring for the majors to integrate. While most owners were vehemently against it, a few made hesitant overtures that they might be interested. The miserable Pittsburgh Pirates were one team that led some of the black sports writers on, seeming to agree to give a few black players a tryout. Campanella was one of those players chosen and although the Pirates backed out at the last minute, Campy began to understand his worth not only to a black baseball team, but to a white one as well. On the eve of the East-West Game the Cleveland Buckeyes were scheduled to play against a team made up of white all-stars who were serving in the Army and Navy. This was a great opportunity to show the country what kind of talent existed in the negro leagues and prove once and for all that blacks could play ball just as good as white professionals. The Cleveland management invited two Baltimore players, Roy Campanella and Sammy Hughes to join their team for the special game.

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