"I never had any idea I'd even play in the majors, much less make the Hall of Fame," said Campanella, the National League's most valuable player in three of his 10 seasons in Brooklyn. "It shows we're living in the right country."
The wire story published in The Times noted Campanella's remarkable career path. He started as a 15-year-old playing in the Negro Leagues for $15 a week, then became a star with the Baltimore Elite Giants. He signed with the Dodgers in 1946 and reached the majors in 1948. He was partially paralyzed after a car accident in January, 1958.
Stan Musial, also a three-time National League MVP, was selected in his first year of eligibility. Incredibly, it took the Hall of Fame voters four tries to elect Campanella.