Alexander Sebastian Campanis
born Alessandro Campani
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 185 lb.
- School New York University
- Debut September 23, 1943
- Final Game October 3, 1943
- Born November 2, 1916 in Kos, Greece
- Died June 21, 1998 in Fullerton, CA USA
Al Campanis played briefly in the majors and was a longtime General Manager but is perhaps best remembered for his insensitive racial comments during a television interview.
An infielder, Campanis was born in Greece, attended New York University, and began his playing career in the Brooklyn Dodgers organization in 1940. He had a cup of coffee in the majors with the Dodgers in 1943, going 2-for-20 in 7 games, and thus became the only Greek-born major leaguer (through 2015). After a stint in the military during World War II, he was a teammate of Jackie Robinson with the Montreal Royals in 1946. He continued playing in the minors through 1948.
Campanis was Scouting Director of the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1960 to 1968 and the team's GM 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 Robinson's breaking of the color line. 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.
|Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager
Year-by-Year Managerial Record
|1948||Nashua Dodgers||New England League||84-41||2nd||League Champs|
|1949||Lancaster (PA) Red Roses||Interstate League||71-68||5th|
|1950||Newport News Dodgers||Piedmont League||--||--||replaced by Bud Metheny|
|1957||Montreal Royals||International League||6-5||--||--||replaced Greg Mulleavy (19-35) on June 14|
replaced by Al Ronning (2-2) on June 24
- Richard L. Harris: "For Campanis, a night that lived in infamy", The Los Angeles Times, August 5, 2008.