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Al Campanis

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Alexander Sebastian Campanis
born Alessandro Campani

BR page

[edit] Biographical Information

The father of Jim Campanis, Al Campanis was Scouting Director of the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1960 to 1968 and General Manager from 1969 until 1987. He lost his job after making allegedly insensitive racial comments on the TV show Nightline, on a program dedicated to the 40th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's breaking of the color line; Campanis had been a teammate and friend of Robinson with the Montreal Royals in 1946. When asked by fellow guest Roger Kahn why there were so few African-American executives in the major leagues four decades after Robinson's debut, he replied that "I truly believe that they may not have some of the necessities to be, let's say, a field manager, or perhaps a general manager.". His response was seen as a perfect encapsulation of the barriers qualified African-Americans faced from the baseball establishment; his firing did have some positive effect, as it led Commissioner Peter Ueberroth to set up a program to promote more managers and other executives from minority backgrounds.

His grandson, Jim Campanis, Jr., was a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team but never made it to the big leagues.

He is the only major league players who was born in Greece, but his major league playing career consisted of 7 games with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1943.


Preceded by
Fresco Thompson
Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager
1969-1987
Succeeded by
Fred Claire

[edit] Further Reading

  • Richard L. Harris: "For Campanis, a night that lived in infamy", The Los Angeles Times, August 5, 2008. [1]

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