Former Dunbar catcher honored by Dodgers

LOS ANGELES - Former Austin Peay catcher A.J. Ellis has been selected as the Seventh Annual Roy Campanella Award recipient, presented to the Los Angeles Dodgers player who "best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the Hall of Fame catcher."

The award, voted on by teammates, will be presented Sunday during pre-game ceremonies of the Dodgers-Rockies contest.

In his first full season as starting Dodgers catcher, the 31-year-old Ellis has appeared in 125 games behind the plate, fourth-most among Major League catchers. Although he currently is batting in the mid-.260s, he hit above for much of the season until a late-season slump. He belted his first career grand slam Aug. 29 against the Rockies at Coors Field and had his first career multi-homer game Aug. 3.

Known for his solid defense and game management skills even as a Governors, Ellis has a 3.37 catcher's ERA, lowest in the game for catchers with at least 100 games caught.

Ellis was a four-time All-OVC selection at Austin Peay from 1999-03. He left as Austin Peay's hits leader--that record broken this season by Greg Bachman. He was selected as the 2003 Joy Award recipients as Austin Peay's Most Valuable Senior Athlete.

Ellis was inducted into the APSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008-09.

Campanella was a three-time National League Most Valuable Player (1951, 1953, 1955), eight-time All-Star, and member of the 1955 World Series championship team. He played in five World Series and his 142 RBIs in 1953 set a then-franchise record. During a 10-year career, all with the Dodgers, he batted .276 with 242 home runs and 856 RBIs. His Hall of Fame career was ended by a 1958 car crash that left him paralyzed. He remained active with the Dodgers organization until his death in 1993.

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