Dolph Camilli

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Adolph Louis Camilli

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Biographical Information[edit]

First baseman Dolph Camilli played 12 years in the major leagues between 1933 and 1945, and was the National League MVP in 1941. He was in the top four home run hitters in the National League for eight years in a row.

He was originally signed by the Chicago Cubs and came up with them in 1933, but established himself as a big league regular with the Philadelphia Phillies starting in 1934. Camilli opened 1935 with 12 RBI in the first three games; it would be 78 years until a player (Chris Davis) topped that. He was traded from the Phillies to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1938 and made his first All-Star appearance the next year, appearing as a pinch hitter in the 1939 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium. In 1941, he led the National League with 34 home runs and 120 RBIs and was named the league's Most Valuable Player as the Dodgers won the pennant with exactly 100 victories.

He was traded across town to the New York Giants in July 1943, but he refused to go, instead quitting baseball and returning to work on his California cattle ranch.

The Giants traded his rights to the Oakland Oaks in December for Bill Rigney, and the next season he returned to baseball as player/manager with Oakland, who played their home games about 100 miles from his Laytonville, California ranch. Camilli played in 113 games that year for the Oaks, hitting .289 with 14 home runs, and as skipper, led them to a tie for third place. He returned to the Oaks in 1945 and even started one game as a pitcher, going five innings. However, he played sparingly that season (only 14 at-bats in about 80 games) and was fired in June. Afterwards, he signed with the Boston Red Sox and hit .212 with them in what would be his last big league season.

His lifetime Adjusted OPS+ is a very respectable 136, and according to the similarity scores method, the most similar player to Camilli is Hall of Famer Larry Doby.

Camilli's best salary with the Dodgers was $22,000 (plus housing and transportation for his family). As player/manager with the Oaks in 1944, he was paid $12,000.

The Baseball Magazine once had a feature story on him entitled "That Family Man Camilli." He was married with 7 children (including future big leaguer Doug Camilli) and 34 years old when World War II started and was not called up for service.

After his playing career, Camilli was a coach for the Sacramento Solons (1949, 1951, 1954-1955), and a minor league manager. He was a scout for the New York Yankees (1960-1967) and California Angels (1969-1971).

His brother, Frankie Campbell, was a heavyweight boxer who died as a result of being knocked out by champion Max Baer.

Dolph is the father of Doug Camilli and grandfather of Kevin Camilli. Gil Hodges played with both Dolph and Doug Camilli.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 2-time NL All-Star (1939 & 1941)
  • NL MVP (1941)
  • NL On-Base Percentage Leader (1937)
  • NL Home Runs Leader (1941)
  • NL RBI Leader (1941)
  • 2-times NL Bases on Balls Leader (1938 & 1939)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 8 (1935-1942)
  • 30-Home Runs Seasons: 1 (1941)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 5 (1936, 1938, 1939, 1941 & 1942)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 4 (1936-1939)

1940 1941 1942
Frank McCormick Dolph Camilli Mort Cooper

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1944 Oakland Oaks Pacific Coast League 86-83 4th none Lost in 1st round
1945 Oakland Oaks Pacific Coast League 36-36 -- none -- replaced by Bill Raimondi (54-57) on June 12
1948 Spokane Indians Western International League 45-12 1st none none League Champs replaced Buddy Ryan (57-52) on August 3
1950 Dayton Indians Central League 69-63 3rd Cleveland Indians Lost in 1st round
1953 Magic Valley Cowboys Pioneer League 48-83 7th none

Related Sites[edit]