The Two Lives of Roy Campanella
By Neil Lanctot
Simon & Schuster, Paperback, 9781416547051, 516pp.
Publication Date: March 13, 2012
ROY CAMPANELLA was the backbone of the great Brooklyn Dodgers teams of the late 1940s and 1950s, alongside such other Hall of Famers as Jackie Robinson and Duke Snider. An outstanding defensive catcher and a powerful slugger, Campy won the National League MVP Award three times. But everything changed on a rainy January night in 1958 when Campy's car skidded off the road and he was left paralyzed below the neck. For the second time in his life, Roy Campanella would become a pioneer, this time off the field. Neil Lanctot's Campy is the magnificent, authoritative biography of this exuberant, gifted athlete.
"Campy, a rich and thoroughly enjoyable book, may well alter [reader's] attitudes about a man who might be the most overlooked star in Dodgers history."
—Russ Stanton, Los Angeles Times
“As a black American and a quadriplegic, Roy Campanella faced double-barreled discrimination with courage and determination. Neil Lanctot's authoritative, even-handed Campy strips away the myths and captures the joys and struggles of a superb ball player who was a true pioneer both on and off the field."
—James S. Hirsch, author of Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend
“Neil Lanctot has written a powerful, richly detailed account of one of the most fascinating sports figures America has ever produced. He captures every detail and every nuance of this beloved man and brilliant athlete. Campanella is unforgettable. So is this book.”
—Jonathan Eig, author of Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig and Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season
"A thorough portrait, rich in detail, shimmering with warmth."
—Stan Hochman, The Philadelphia Daily News
"Hall-of-Famer Roy 'Campy' Campanella's life story has never received the comprehensive treatment that it deserves — until now. Neil Lanctot's assiduous research and crisp style produce a compelling biography on one of baseball's most captivating and irrepressible personalities. Grade: Home run."
—Mark Hodermarsky, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Campy is a fine behind-the-scenes recounting of baseball personalities and Campanella's limited but courageous life in a wheelchair."
—Dick Kreck, The Denver Post
"With the publication of Neil Lanctot’s superb biography, Campy, Roy Campanella is no longer the greatest player about whom there is no definitive biography."
—Allen Barra, The Newark Star-Ledger
"Lanctot is meticulous in putting together the first truly comprehensive biography of a baseball great."
—Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Fans of the sport and that era will certainly find plenty to chew on in this solid biography."
—Budd Bailey, The Buffalo News
"Lancot writes fluidly about dignity and pettiness, warmth and controversy, and triumph and despair. It’s a deeper, richer portrait that is stunning in its detail. It’s a compelling read.”
—Bob D'Angelo, Tampa Bay Tribune