Justin Turner wins annual Roy Campanella Award

LOS ANGELES – The Dodgers announced that third baseman Justin Turner was named the winner of the 15th 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 upon by Dodger uniformed personnel, will be presented to Turner tomorrow night by Campanella’s daughter, Joni Campanella Roan, through a video message.

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), Clayton Kershaw (2013-14), Zack Greinke (2015), Chase Utley (2016, 2018) and Turner (2017, 2019-20).

Turner, 35, becomes the first Dodger to win the award three times, snapping a tie with the other two-time winners, Clayton Kershaw (2013-14) and Chase Utley (2016, 2018). Turner was initially signed by the Dodgers as a non-roster free agent with an invitation to Spring Training prior to the 2014 season and since then has been a star both on the field and off it, while also serving as a strong leader inside the clubhouse.

In 39 games this season heading into tonight, the Long Beach native is hitting .303 (43-for-142) with two homers, nine doubles, 21 RBI and 23 runs scored while posting a .398 on-base percentage. Turner has reached base safely in 28 consecutive games played since Aug. 4 and is hitting .323 with a .422 OBP in that time while the Dodgers have gone 20-8 in those contests. On Aug. 11 vs. San Diego, Turner recorded career hit No. 1,000.

The Dodgers will be counting on third baseman Justin Turner’s bat to come alive down the final stretch of the 2018 regular season. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman for News4usonline

The former Cal-State Fullerton standout is looking forward to the Postseason, where he has been exceptional since joining the Dodgers. In 54 career postseason games, Turner has hit .310 (62-for-200) with nine homers, 35 RBI and a .520 slugging percentage.

Turner has also set an example for his teammates off the field in the community, having been named the Dodgers’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award three times (2017-18, ’20). Turner has been a fixture in the Los Angeles community since joining the Dodgers seven years ago and continued to make his presence felt in 2020 as he served Angelenos amid this unprecedented crisis.

Nearly every day, from mid-March through June, Justin and his wife, Kourtney, would select a restaurant and order thousands of meals to be delivered to the Los Angeles Dream Center, which fed over 12,000 individuals per day at the height of the pandemic. His teammates took note and joined in his efforts helping to keep restaurants in business and feed those experiencing food insecurity as Los Angeles’ unemployment rose.

Turner donated an estimated 900,000 meals during the 82-day effort, culminating with the Dream Center naming their food bank The Justin & Kourtney Turner Food Bank. In addition to his efforts at the Dream Center, Justin also donated several meals per week to the doctors, nurses and staff at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and made frequent visits to patients at Cedars Sinai Hospital and UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital throughout the year.

One of the pillars of the Justin Turner Foundation is to support homeless veterans, and the Turners host an annual golf classic to help support that mission. Additionally, Justin has annually championed AM 570’s Veterans Day Radio-a-thon, which has benefited Paralyzed Veterans of America as well as the Dream Center’s Veteran’s Program.

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 Sandy Koufax. Campanella remained active in the Dodgers’ Community Relations Department until his death on June 26, 1993 at the age of 71.

Source: Los Angeles Dodgers 

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