Monday, April 14, 2014

Dodgers Vintage Memorabilia at REA Auctions - Roy Campanella, the Dodger Scout

Here is another post on some Dodgers memorabilia found at REA's current auction.  This time, I share a couple of remarkable letters written by Roy Campanella to Robert Finch - Branch Rickey's assistant at the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Go here to take a look at my past post on this auction. 

Roy Campanella was highly regarded by the Brooklyn Dodger brass.  They were expecting big things from him at and behind the plate, and also valued his judgement on other Negro League players.  So, they enlisted his assistance in scouting for them.  Below are a couple of letters detailing his opinion of several Negro League players.

Directly below is his letter scouting Larry Doby and Joe Black, dated September 26, 1946.
Dear Mr. Finch, 
Everything is fine with me. I truly hope its the same with you. Concerning Doby, he can hit, run and throw very good. Hits with a lot of power, but needs to learn how to pull. I've seen him hit home-run in Ruppert Stadium, Newark also Shibe Park, Philadelphia. He has a nice personality, good habits and is intelligent. At present I am watching a right hand pitcher of the Elite Giants. His name is Joe Black, 22 years old, attends Morgan College in Baltimore, Md. He spent three years in service pitching for Tommy Bridges [sic] team and was the only negro on the team. He has an exceptionally good fast ball, good change, good curve ball. Very good disposition. He's very apt to catch on. I will send you a report later on this week about him. Also, I will be too [sic] you the beginning of next week. 

Respectfully yours, Roy Campanella

P. S. The home-runs Doby hit were in the left-field seats.
(auction link)
(auction link)

Here is a letter dated September 25,1946 that scouts Junior Gilliam and Joe Black!
Dear Mr. Finch, 

I saw a very good game here, between the Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Elite Giants. Romby pitched for the Giants, and won 3-2. He struck out eleven men in seven innings. The boy really looked good. Concerning Black, the pitcher I mentioned in my previous letter. I have an appointment with him Friday. The young boy Gilliam, has the making of a good player. He is one of the youngest players in the league. He is very apt and has good habits. Hope all is well with you. I will be in the office Tuesday morning at ten o'clock. 

Sincerely yours, Roy Campanella.
I love how the above letter provides an update to the Joe Black discussions.  Roy mentions that he has scheduled a meeting with him.
(auction link)

(auction link)

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