The Los Angeles Dodgers will recognize Cal State Northridge physical therapy students who are recipients of a scholarship named in honor of the late Brooklyn Dodgers catcher Roy Campanella and his wife before Wednesday evening’s game against the San Francisco Giants.
Campanella’s daughter Joni Campanella Roan, CSUN physical therapy student and 2019 Dodgers physical therapy intern Margo Kwiatkowski and the 2019 scholarship recipients will be introduced to the crowd at Dodger Stadium.
“The field of physical therapy is something that a lot of people don’t even think about or appreciate until they need it,” Campanella Roan said at a February luncheon at CSUN honoring the scholarship recipients.
“Your commitment, what you’re doing and what you’re deciding — to be a physical therapist — is extremely important to the lives of many people.”
The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and Roy and Roxie Campanella Foundation have financed the scholarships since 2005. Campanella’s wife Roxie began to donate scholarship money to physical therapy programs in 1994, continuing to do so until her death in 2004.
The scholarship benefits students “who have a very outstanding clinical potential,” Janna Beling, chair of CSUN’s Physical Therapy Department, said at the luncheon.
Recipients are selected by faculty and clinical instructors based on their personal experience, community service, leadership abilities and academic standing, Beling said.
Campanella played for the Dodgers from 1948-57. He was the fourth black to play in the major leagues in the 20th century and the first catcher. He was an eight-time all-star and selected as the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1951, 1953 and 1955. He was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1969.
An automobile accident in 1958 left him a quadriplegic. Though he would be wheelchair bound until his death in 1993, work with physical therapists allowed Campanella to become an active member of the Dodgers community relations department and a spring training catching instructor.
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