Watch Jamey Carroll, even when he grounds out and you can tell what kind of baseball player he is. He drops the bat and races full speed through the bag. It sounds like nothing special, but when there are 162 games in a season, injuries and other issues, full speed isn’t always what you see.
Not for Carroll. For his passion and play, the Dodger players selected him as the winner of the Fifth Annual Roy Campanella Award.
Carroll was given the award during a dual-purpose news conference on Sept. 23. The Dodgers Dream Foundation, California State University, Northridge and the Campanella family have joined in a long-term partnership that will ensure the legacy of the Hall of Fame catcher for years to come. The DDF will make an annual financial contribution to support the Roy and Roxie Campanella Physical Therapy Scholarship Endowment at CSUN while also providing an internship opportunity within the Dodgers’ medical department each season for a student from the university’s physical therapy program.
Joni Campanella Roan, the Dodger legend’s daughter, presented the Campanella Award, which is given to the Dodger player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame catcher, to Carroll during the press conference.
“This past offseason, when I had an opportunity to head into free agency, I was hoping to have an opportunity to play for an organization that was rich in history and a place where I could be surrounded by the true aura of baseball,” said Carroll. “When the opportunity came to put this jersey on, I was extremely thankful.”
Carroll said he was humbled that his teammates selected him for the award.
“To stand up here today and have my name somewhat in the little bit associated with (Campanella) is an extreme honor,” said Carroll. “I’m very grateful for my teammates who just give me the opportunity to play hard. When I walk away from the game, I want to be known as a good teammate and a guy who left it all out there, and when you get something like this voted by your teammates, you kind of have an understanding that what you do is appreciated.”
For the second time in three seasons, Dodger first baseman James Loney is the team’s nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. The award is given annually to the Major League Baseball player who combines a dedication to giving back to the community with outstanding skills on the baseball field.
Loney, who leads the Dodgers in RBI and doubles and whose .998 fielding percentage this year is tied for second in franchise history, has also given time and energy to causes off the field, most notably his “Loney’s Lounge” program.
“The most rewarding thing for me is not signing autographs or pictures, but just talking to the kids and getting to see other people and hopefully motivate them to one day feel the same way,” said Loney on why he gives. “A lot of people assume that if they’re not high-profile, they can’t make an impact. But anybody can. It’s just a matter of wanting to do it.”
Loney has hosted kids from the Los Angeles Reviving Baseball in Inner-Cities program at several home games for the past three seasons. The kids watch batting practice from the field, receive a “Loney’s Lounge” T-shirt, meet and take photos with Loney and watch the game from the Baseline Box Seats. He also hosted the annual “Loney’s Lounge” video game party at Dodger Stadium and was joined this year by teammates Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp, Kenley Jansen and A.J. Ellis. The 26-year-old first baseman is a product of the Houston RBI program.
“A lot of guys around baseball try to give back,” said Loney. “Maybe it’s a charity that becomes important because someone in their family is affected. For me, RBI was a great experience. I got to go to Disneyworld at a young age (15) and played against different countries. It was an unforgettable experience.”
Loney also hosted the Dodgers Dream Foundation Charity Bowling Extravaganza for the third consecutive year. The event raised more than $110,000 for the Dodgers Dream Foundation. During the season, he also visited 50 kids at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton and took part in a calendar photo shoot with children from the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, with the goal of finding permanent homes for those children.
Loney was the ideal representative for the Dodgers when the organization was honored at the Cedars-Sinai Sports Spectacular this year.
Fans get a say in the Clemente award voting. You can vote for Loney at www.chevy.com/clemente. The winner of the fan poll receives one vote among those cast by the selection panel, which includes Hall of Famers, past recipients, Commissioner Selig and Vera Clemente, wife of the late Roberto Clemente who gave throughout his baseball career, even in death when the plane he rode in trying to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua in 1972 crashed shortly after takeoff from Puerto Rico.