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09/24/2008 7:00 PM ET
Loney wins third annual Roy Campanella Award
First baseman voted "Most Inspirational Dodger" by his teammates and coaches
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LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that first baseman James Loney was named the winner of the third 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 uniform personnel, will be presented to Loney by Campanella's daughter, Joni Campanella Roan during a pregame ceremony prior to tomorrow night's home finale against the San Diego Padres. Dodger shortstop Rafael Furcal won the inaugural award in 2006 and Dodger catcher Russell Martin took home the honor last season.

In his third season with the Dodgers, Loney is hitting .292 with 12 homers, 34 doubles and a team-best 87 RBI. The first baseman has played in 156 of the Dodgers' 157 games and has made a team-leading 148 starts. The only contest Loney did not appear in this season came on August 8 and the 156 games is tied for third in the Majors.

The Houston, TX native is tied for ninth in the NL with a .306 average away from home and has had five hitting streaks of at least nine games this season. Loney began the season by hitting safely in his first 15 games, which is the third-longest hitting streak to begin a season in Dodgers' history. The Dodgers' first-round pick in 2002 has a .304 lifetime average since the beginning of his career in 2006, which ranks 11th in the NL over that time.

Loney also has had a flair for the dramatic this season, coming up with three extra-inning game-winning hits (April 27, July 18, and Sept. 18), something only four other players in the NL have accomplished this year. The left-hander is hitting .336 when the Dodgers win and 70 of his 87 RBI have come in Dodger victories.

Loney was the Dodgers' 2008 recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes devoted work in the community. This season Loney kicked off the year by participating in the 2008 Community caravan and also made three separate visits to area hospitals, White Memorial in August and UCLA's Mattel Childrens Hospital in January and July. The first baseman also started the Loney's Lounge Program, in which 40 kids from Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Los Angeles attended a video game party with Loney and several of his teammates in the Dodger Stadium Baseline Box Club. All the youngsters were treated to tickets for the afternoon game that day, lunch, and a t-shirt. Subsequently, the "Loney's Lounge" community program took place four more times through the season.

Along with teammate Brad Penny, Loney co-hosted the Dodgers Dream Foundation Bowling Extravaganza on August 18, which also raised money for Mattel Children's Hospital. In addition, Loney was named as the Dodgers' nominee for the MLBPA's Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award.

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 Robinson and Sandy Koufax. Campanella remained active in the Dodgers' Community Relations Department until his passing on June 26, 1993 at the age of 71.
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