The Duke

Sad news in the baseball world over the weekend.

In the 1950s, three future Hall of Famers played center field for New York ball clubs: Willie Mays for the Giants, Mickey Mantle for the Yankees and Duke Snider for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Never has there been more talent at one position in one city. And never was a player more a part of a town than the powerful Snider was for Brooklyn.
Snider passed away Sunday at the age of 84. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980.
Snider was named to eight All-Star Games and was named the Major League Player of the Year in 1955 by the Sporting News. He finished first in the National League in hits, runs, on-base percentage, RBIs, extra base hits, home runs, total bases and intentional walks in at least one season his career.

He was also an outstanding outfielder.

“The greatest catch I ever saw was one made by Snider in 1954, when he climbed the wall of Connie Mack Stadium like a mountain goat to take an extra base hit away from Willie Jones of the Phillies,” teammate Pee Wee Reese once said.

Snider hit 40 or more home runs in each of the last five seasons the Dodgers played at Ebbets Field before spending five more years with the team in Los Angeles. He collected the first hit in Dodger Stadium and was named captain in 1962, his last season as a Dodger.

Snider finished his career with a .295 batting average, 2,116 hits, 407 home runs and 1,333 RBI, playing for the Dodgers (1947-62), Mets (1963) and Giants (1964). He also totaled 11 home runs and 26 RBI in World Series play.

Here is the link to Edwin Donal Snider’s page at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  Go there.  Then, read Boys of Summer.  You will probably understand that The Duke was more than just a word to give Terry Cashman a rhyme for Dubuque.

Speaking of which…

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