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SPUR OF THE MOMENT

July 11, 1955
July 11, 1955

Table of Contents
July 11, 1955

Events & Discoveries
Spectacle
  • A sailplane pilot soars through a wide, noiseless world, forever searching for the free power to keep him there

  • Flapping and flopping for a thousand years in imitation of eagles, crows, beetles and fish, man finally found his way into the air. In sailplanes he now flies well and high with very little fuss and no feathers at all

  • By William F. Talbert

    The U.S. Davis Cup captain, a Wimbledon witness, reveals the young Cincinnatian finally capturing the world's most coveted tennis title

The Wonderful World Of Sport
Anniversary
Sporting Look
All-Star Preview
Acknowledgments
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

SPUR OF THE MOMENT

A knee goes in Brooklyn and with it the services, at least for a short time, of the Dodgers' irreplaceable and pennant-producing catcher Roy Campanella

The most celebrated bit of human anatomy last week was a tiny, bony spur on the left kneecap of Roy Campanella, part-time tropical fish fancier, part-time liquor store proprietor and, for the past fortnight, part-time catcher for the pennant-chasing Brooklyn Dodgers. Although scarcely larger than a pencil eraser, the spur quickly assumed mountainous proportions. Six seasons ago, another key player, Joe DiMaggio, had a spur on his heel that almost cost the Yankees the pennant. Though Brooklyn is far ahead now, the loss of Campy's bat could seriously endanger the Dodgers' chances of staying there.

This is an article from the July 11, 1955 issue Original Layout

The first hint that the oft-injured Campanella was again crippled came in St. Louis on June 19 when a foul tip ricocheted off his left shin guard. After the game, his knee was bathed in a whirlpool which seemed to ease the soreness and for the next few days, in Chicago and in Milwaukee, he caught only part of two games and missed four games completely.

But there was new trouble in the June 28 opener with the Giants. "In the first inning," Campanella recalls, "I ran over to the Giant dugout to catch a pop foul, stepped down one step and felt a stabbing pain." In the fourth inning he was pulled out, grimacing with pain. Next day, X rays were taken.

The plates, from which Paul Peck made these drawings, actually show not one but two spurs: the first growing on the right side of the patella (kneecap) and still intact; the second, at the upper left, snapped off at the base. A spur is a calcium overgrowth resulting from constant stress and/or repeated injury. In Campanella's case it probably stems from both: the strain on the thigh muscles to remain squatting and the injury to the knees each time he drops to block a low pitch.

Last week, Campy sat at home, his leg securely strapped from the calf to the thigh, watching on TV last-place Pittsburgh trounce the Dodgers.

The doctors say that he will be at home until the spur grows back on (it may take several weeks). Campanella says he'll be back for another crack at the Giants this week.

ILLUSTRATIONCAMPANELLA'S LEFT KNEE
VIEW FROM ABOVE
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2
6
7
ILLUSTRATION[See caption above.]
VIEW FROM FRONT
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2
3
6
7
8
ILLUSTRATIONNORMAL LEFT KNEE
VIEW FROM ABOVE
1
2
ILLUSTRATION[See caption above.]
VIEW FROM FRONT
1
2
3
ILLUSTRATIONSIDE VIEW OF KNEE
1
2
3
4
5

Anatomy of knee includes (l) patella (kneecap), (2) femur (thighbone), (3) tibia (shinbone), (4) tendon of quadriceps femoris muscle and (5) patellar tendon. While normally the patella is symmetrical and aligned with the femur and tibia, Campanella's is irregular and slightly up and to the right. X rays show: a portion of the patella (6) congenitally separated from the rest; the bony spur (7) snapped off by foul tip; plus a second spur (8) still intact. As long as the spur (7) was attached and buried within the ligaments and tendons that pass over and around the patella, it caused no pain. When torn loose, it irritated the surrounding nerves and blood vessels.