The first African American catcher to play in Major League Baseball was Roy Campanella. Today Campanella is not as recognizable as his Brooklyn Dodgers teammate Jackie Robinson who had his debut in the spring of 1947, but his contributions to the Dodgers were essential for the team's successes in the 1950s. Campanella was selected as the National League's Most Valuable Player three times in 1951, 1953 and 1955. Jackie Robinson was only selected as the National League MVP once in 1949. In 1953, Campanella hit 40 home runs, a single season record for a catcher in Major League Baseball. This record would stand until 1996.