Friday, April 1, 2011
New York Times Literary Treat of the Week....
Lanctot, Neil. Campy: The Two Lives of Roy Campanella. Simon and Schuster.
The February 27 passing of Brooklyn Dodgers star Edwin “Duke” Snider comes as another of the “boys of summer” is given a thorough examiniation in print. Campanella dropped out of high school at age 15 to play Negro League baseball. His rifle arm and superb hitting might have qualified “Campy” to break the major league color line had not his half-Italian heredity made him lighter-skinned than Jackie Robinson. Arriving with the Dodgers one year after Robinson, Campanella would win three National League Most Valuable Player Awards and was an eight-time All-Star. Lanctot details the rift that developed between Robinson and Campanella as the former became more outspoken on race issues while the latter was at first reluctant to be a “boat rocker.” The 1958 auto accident that ended Campy’s career became part of his reconciliation with Robinson and helped in getting better treatment for quadripilegics.
For more about the Brooklyn Dodgers, Merrick Library has the following books:
Breslin, Jimmy. Branch Rickey.
D'Antonio, Michael. Forever Blue.
Murphy, Robert. After Many A Summer.
McGee, Bob. The Greatest Ballpark Ever.
Shapiro, Michael. The Last Good Season.
Thorn, John, editor. The Glory Days.
Reviewed by librarian, Bob.