Apr 13, 2015

Former Italian / American Player: Doug Camilli (1960-1969)

Douglas Joseph Camilli was born September 22, 1936 in the Italian section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the son of the 1941 Brooklyn Dodger MVP Dolph Camilli. Dolph would move the family out west to California while playing for the Dodgers and his son Doug attended high school at Santa Rosa. Doug then went to Stanford University and got signed by those same Brooklyn Dodgers as a catcher in 1957. He appeared briefly in parts of the 1960 & 1961 seasons, before becoming the backup catcher to Johnny Roseboro from 1962 through 1964.

Gil Hodges had the distinction of playing on Dodger teams with both father Dolph & son Doug Camilli. Doug was known for his defense more than his hitting, batting a career best .284 in 45 games in 1962. He would bat under the .200 level five times his nine season career.

There is no doubt Camilli’s career highlight was catching Sandy Koufax’s third no hitter on June 4th 1964 at Shibe Park in Philadelphia. Koufax walked only one batter & struck out ten Phillies that night, as the Dodgers beat the Phillies 3-0. Camilli himself went 0-4 at the plate, during that game. That same season he threw out 50% of runners attempting to steal on him, ten of twenty base runners. He also posted a .990 fielding % with 19 assists while making just three errors.

He was on the Dodgers 1963 World Championship team but did not play in the four game World Series sweep. In 1965 he was purchased by the Washington Senators and remained there for five seasons backing up Paul Casanova & Mike Brumley. In 1964 he threw out 44% of would be base stealers (3rd best in the AL) with a .980 fielding %.

He saw the most action in 1965, playing in 75 games batting just .192. But Camilli threw out 56% of runners trying to steal catching 14 of 25 while posting a .990 %. By 1968 Camilli became a Senators player/coach under manager Jim Lemon. After only playing in a one game return in 1969 he decided to become a full time bullpen coach.

Retirement: He finished up his nine year playing career with a .199 batting average 153 hits 18 HRs 22 doubles & 80 RBIs in 313 games played. He moved on to coach with the Red Sox from 1970-1973, then managed in their farm system up until 1994.

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