Duke Snider

Edwin Donald Snider
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1980
Primary team: Brooklyn Dodgers
Primary position: Center Fielder

The Yankees had Mickey Mantle, the Giants had Willie Mays and the Brooklyn Dodgers had “The Duke of Flatbush.” At the time when there were three New York baseball teams, the team that had your allegiance was as important in the five boroughs as life itself, and in the 1950’s nobody represented Brooklyn baseball more than Duke Snider. Those team rivalries of yesterday live on a half century later with members of that generation. Willie Mays recalled “Duke was a fine man, a terrific hitter and a great friend, even though he was a Dodger.”

Edwin Donald Snider was called Duke his entire life. He got the nickname from his parents as a young boy because of the way he strutted around like he was royalty. On the baseball field, Duke was royalty. He gracefully patrolled centerfield in Brooklyn and was one of the most prolific power hitters of the 1950s, as he hit more home runs and had more RBI in the decade than any other player.

Duke’s star seemed to have shone brightest when the pres-sure was on. In 1949, on the season’s final day, he drove in the winning run to clinch the pennant for the Dodgers and in 1955 he led Brooklyn to their one and only World Series victory over the Yankees. In total, Snider hit .286 with 11 home runs and 26 RBI in 36 World Series games, and is the only player to hit at least 4 home runs in two different Fall Classics.

In 1957, when the Dodgers played their final game in Brooklyn before moving to Los Angeles, it was fitting that Duke hit the last home run ever in Ebbets Field, and ironically, that home run was hit off Robin Roberts. In his career Snider hit 19 home runs off of Roberts—no other batter in major league history has hit that many home runs off of a single pitcher.

Tommy Lasorda who played with Snider in Brooklyn in 1955 and 1956 recalled “I was Duke’s teammate and looked up to him with respect. Duke was not only a great player, but he was a great person, too. He loved his family and loved the Dodgers. He was the true Dodger and represented the Dodgers to the highest degree of class, dignity and character.”

"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. "
Pee Wee Reese

Career stats

ESSENTIAL STATS
Year Inducted: 1980
Primary Team: Brooklyn Dodgers
Position Played: Center Fielder
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Birth place: Los Angeles, California
Birth year: 1926
Died: 2011, Escondido, California
Played for:
Brooklyn Dodgers (1947-1957)
Los Angeles Dodgers (1958-1962)
New York Mets (1963)
San Francisco Giants (1964)
CAREER AT A GLANCE
GamesG
2143
At BatsAB
7161
RunsR
1259
HitsH
2116
Doubles2B
358
Triples3B
85
Home RunsHR
407
RBIRBI
1333
Stolen BasesSB
99
WalksBB
971
Batting AverageBA
.295
OPSOPS
.919
On Base %OBP
.380
Slugging %SLG
.540