Tag Archives: Duke Snider

Baseball Card Show Purchase #4 – Duke Snider & Jackie Robinson 2004 Upper Deck World Series Heroes

Baseball Card Show Purchase #4 – Duke Snider & Jackie Robinson 2004 Upper Deck World Series Heroes

I have yet to declare that this is a set I want to collect until it is complete, but when I can add cards from the set to my small stack for just one dime each, I will do so.

It just so happens to be that these two cards were back-to-back in the bargain bin.  And it also happens to be that the two players are Hall of Famers and among the legends of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Have a look:


Los Angeles Dodgers Honor Hall Of Famer Duke Snider

Los Angeles Dodgers Honor Hall Of Famer Duke Snider

LOS ANGELES — Seeing the number four cut into Dodger Stadium’s center-field grass brought Bev Snider back to a different era.

It was an era when Duke Snider, her husband of 63 years who passed away in February, roamed the outfield in Brooklyn and Los Angeles from 1947-62 as the last Dodgers player to don that number before it was retired.

The Dodgers paid tribute to Snider, the club’s all-time leader in home runs, with a special pregame ceremony Tuesday night in which more than 40 of his family members were in attendance, including all four of his children and his wife.

“This is something so special only Duke could bring it,” Bev Snider said. “I love it.”

When asked of her memories of Dodger Stadium, Bev’s eyes welled with a few tears. She pointed to center field and muttered one word: “Duke.”

The Dodgers honored Snider with pregame tribute video, a Snider bobblehead for fans in attendance and by putting his plaque from the Hall of Fame on display before and during the game.

To Pam Chodola, Snider’s daughter, the best part of the ceremony was the Snider reunion. Ten minutes before the game began, the entire family gathered behind home plate for a photo centered around Snider’s plaque.

“It means everything for this family to get together,” said Chodola, who recalled knitting in the stands during batting practice because, as a girl, she wasn’t allowed on the field in the late 1950s. “We used to do this every year. We’d go to Disneyland together as a family. Now we’re saying this is like Disneyland again.”

An eight-time All-Star, Snider finished with 407 home runs and 2,116 hits in his 18 seasons, 16 with the Dodgers. He played in six World Series, winning two.

Snider was never named Most Valuable Player, but from 1952-56, he finished in the top 10 in voting every season — including finishing second in 1955 to teammate Roy Campanella by one of the narrowest margins. In that season, he hit .309 with 42 homers on the Dodgers’ first World Series championship team.

Snider was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980, and his plaque remained stationed there until Tuesday, when Hall of Fame senior director Brad Horn escorted the plaque to Dodger Stadium.

“Duke meant so much to the franchise that having his plaque here with so many fans seeing it on display helps keep his memory alive,” said Horn, adding that Snider’s plaque will return Wednesday to the same place it’s hung for the last 31 years.

Horn said removing plaques from Cooperstown is an incredibly rare occurrence, happening only about a dozen times in the last decade. He was with Harmon Killebrew’s plaque when the Twins honored him after he passed away in May.

But when the Dodgers called to ask to borrow Snider’s plaque for a day, there was no hesitation on the part of Cooperstown.

To legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully, who has a plaque of his own in Cooperstown, Snider’s accomplishments on the field were only topped by his personality off it.

Scully called Snider “an absolute sweetheart of a guy.” He noted that while Snider may have been overshadowed by the abundance of center-field greatness in New York at the time, he certainly merited his place in the discussion of the game’s best.

“He competed in New York with Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle and the memory of Joe DiMaggio,” Scully said. “So it was awfully tough for him to get that recognition. … To put it in proper perspective, he certainly belongs in the Hall of Fame and he certainly belongs in that song, ‘Willie, Mickey and the Duke.'”

Did You Know…

Duke Snider hit more home runs than any other player during the 1950’s.  With 326 home runs during that decade, Snider hit 40 or more homers for five consecutive seasons from 1953-1957, peaking at 43 homers in 1956.

Hall Of Fame Center Fielder Duke Snider Dies At 84

Hall Of Fame Center Fielder Duke Snider Dies At 84

By BEN WALKER, AP Baseball Writer

Duke Snider, the Hall of Fame center fielder for the charmed “Boys of Summer” who helped the Dodgers bring their elusive and only World Series crown to Brooklyn, died early Sunday of what his family called natural causes. He was 84.

Snider died at the Valle Vista Convalescent Hospital in Escondido, Calif., according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, which announced the death on behalf of the family.

“The Duke of Flatbush” hit .295 with 407 career home runs, played in the World Series six times and won two titles. But the eight-time All-Star was defined by much more than his stats—he was, after all, part of the love affair between the borough of Brooklyn and “Dem Bums” who lived in the local neighborhoods.

Ebbets Field was filled with stars such as Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella and Gil Hodges during that 1955 championship season. Yet it is Snider’s name that refrains in the ballpark favorite “Talkin’ Baseball.”

“Willie, Mickey, and the Duke,” the popular song goes.

Snider wore No. 4 in Dodger blue, and was often regarded as the third-best center fielder in New York—behind Willie Mays of the Giants and Mickey Mantle of the Yankees—during what many fans considered the city’s golden era of baseball.

“The newspapers compared Willie, Mickey and I, and that was their thing,” Snider said several years ago. “As a team, we competed with the Giants, and we faced the Yankees in the World Series. So we had a rivalry as a team, that was it. It was an honor to be compared to them, they were both great players.”

Mantle died in 1995 at age 63. Mays, now 79, threw out a ceremonial ball last fall before a playoff game in San Francisco.

Snider hit at least 40 home runs in five straight seasons and led the NL in total bases three times. He never won an MVP award, although a voting error may have cost him the prize in 1955. He lost to Campanella by a very narrow margin— it later turned out an ill voter left Snider off the ballot, supposedly by mistake.

Snider hit .309 with 42 home runs and a career-high 136 RBIs in 1955. That October, he hit four homers, drove in seven runs and hit .320 as the Dodgers beat the Yankees in a seven-game World Series.

For a team that kept preaching “Wait till next year” after Series losses to the Yankees in 1953, 1952, 1949, 1947 and 1941, it had indeed become next year. A generation later, long after they’d all grown old, those Dodgers were lauded as the “Boys of Summer” in Roger Kahn’s book.

Born Edwin Donald Snider, he got his nickname at an early age. Noticing his son return home from a game with somewhat of a strut, Snider’s dad said, “Here comes the Duke.”

The name stuck. So did Snider, once he played his first game in the majors in 1947, two days after Jackie Robinson’s historic debut.

A durable slugger with a strong arm, good instincts on the bases and a regal style, Snider hit the last home run at Ebbets Field in 1957.

Snider’s swing gave the Dodgers a lefty presence on a team of mostly righties. He often launched shots over the short right-field wall at the Brooklyn bandbox, rewarding a waiting throng that gathered on Bedford Avenue.

“The Duke’s up,” fans in the upper deck would shout to those on the street.

A wild swinger, Snider was harnessed by Branch Rickey, who made him practice standing at home plate with a bat on his shoulder calling balls and strikes but forbidden to swing.

Snider stayed with the Dodgers when they moved to Los Angeles in 1958 and won another World Series ring the next year. Prematurely gray, “The Silver Fox” returned to New York with the bumbling Mets in 1963 and finished his career in 1964 with the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers’ longtime rivals.

“There was no one classier or more easy going than Duke Snider,” Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said Sunday. “Above it all, he was a fan favorite for his style of play, personality, accessibility, and fondness for playing stickball with kids in the street of Brooklyn.”

Snider was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1980 on his 11th try. He was a broadcaster for the Montreal Expos for several seasons—he played in the city as a minor leaguer in the Brooklyn farm system—and later was an announcer with the Dodgers.

In 1995, Snider pleaded guilty to federal tax charges and was sentenced to two years’ probation and fined $5,000. He admitted not reporting more than $97,000 in cash from autograph signings, card shows and memorabilia sales.

Snider was sentenced at the Brooklyn federal courthouse, a few miles from where he had starred. The judge said Snider had been “publicly disgraced and humiliated … here in Brooklyn, where you were idolized by a generation … of which I was one.”

Snider apologized for his actions. He said he began making autograph appearances because he had little in savings and had made several bad business decisions. The judge said Snider paid nearly $30,000 in back taxes and noted he had diabetes, hypertension and other illnesses.

A native Californian, Snider became part of Brooklyn’s fabric during his playing days.

“I was born in Los Angeles,” he once said. “Baseball-wise, I was born in Brooklyn. We lived with Brooklyn. We died with Brooklyn.”

The Duke, however, had some early problems with the boisterous Brooklyn fans.

Once, in the early 1950s, he was quoted as calling them the worst in the game. He came to the park after the quote was published and was greeted with a chorus of boos. But he enjoyed one of his better nights, and silenced the fans for good.

“The fans were something.” Snider said. “They were so close to you. You got to know them, some of them by name.”

During his playing career, Snider became an avocado farmer. He lived many years in Fallbrook, Calif., which calls itself “the avocado capital of the world.”

He is survived by his wife, Beverly, whom he married in 1947.

TTM Success: Hall of Famer, Mr. Duke Snider!!!

TTM Success:  Hall of Famer, Mr. Duke Snider!!!

This is a lesson in patience.  This is a reminder of a lesson that I was taught at a very early age – ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again’.  And you know what, that lesson has paid off again for me…

In the mail today, and 1 day after showing off my 28-piece signed baseball collection, #29 is now home safely.

Hall of Famer Duke Snider signed my baseball and returned if back to me in under two weeks!!!

I am thrilled to add this beauty to my collection, and I am even more thrilled that after my most recent failures with Snider that he is back to signing again through the mail.

Here is the ball:

Looks great, huh? 

And I am so excited to add this autographed baseball to my collection, that I don’t even care that he did not add a Hall of Fame inscription and that he apparently signed the ball in a marker-type pen.  The Blue ink looks great and reminds me of Dodger-Blue, heck Brooklyn Dodger-Blue for that matter!!

Thank you Mr. Snider – I will cherish this one!!

And thanks again ‘Q’ for the heads-up!!!

Taking Another Shot With Duke Snider…

Taking Another Shot With Duke Snider…

I get emails all of the time from the readers of ’30-YOC’.  And several of them have great stories to share about the players that I collect or about obtaining autographs in the same fashion that I do.

Just a few days ago, I got an email from reader Quentin who just got a Duke Snider baseball returned to him in the mail.  I have failed with Duke in the past(my package was refused), but after hearing about Quentin’s success, I am eager to give it another shot.

I dropped this off on the way to work today.

Wish me luck!!

Thanks again Q!!!

TTM Failure: Duke Snider

I sent a baseball to Duke Snider in the middle of December.  The ball was the result of a Sports Authority gift card that I received through a ‘Secret Santa’ gift exchange at work.

I was eager to add Mr. Snider to my collection of signed balls, and his great TTM reputation gave me a big amount of confidence that the baseball would be returned to me quickly and wonderfully autographed.

Well, 1 week became 2.  And 2 became 3.  And today I got the ball back.  Unfortunately it was in my original mailing envelope with a sticker from the USPS that shows the package was ‘Refused’.

I’m pretty bummed, but a little concerned too.  You see, Duke Snider was supposed to be at a card show recently to sign autographs.  He canceled due to personal reasons and was replaced by Hall of Famer Gary Carter.  Hopefully it is nothing serious and Mr. Snider is able to once again get back to his daily, enjoyable life.

An autograph means nothing to me compared to someone’s healthy and physical abilities to live life.  Keep Mr. Snider in your thoughts!!!


As for the ball, I have a few plans for it.  Stay tuned!!!

Turning ‘Secret Santa’ Into A TTM Opportunity!!!

The company that I work for held their annual Secret Santa gift exchange on Friday afternoon.  Being rather new to this workplace, I thought this would be a good opportunity to meet some of the people there that I had yet to be introduced to.  Prior to the actual gift exchange, we were asked to fill out a questionnaire that would help our ‘Secret Santa’ select a gift suited to our likes.

I won’t bore you with the answers to my questions, but what I will tell you is what I received – a $25 gift card to The Sports Authority!!

Not too shabby huh???

As soon as my gift was opened, I knew how I would blow use it.  $25 is just a little less than what it would cost me for 2 Rawlings Official baseballs.  Over the weekend, I kept the gift card with me and as soon as I had the opportunity I went shopping – 2 brand new baseballs are now mine!!

And what would I do with these 2 beauties?  Why turn them into TTM requests of course…

The first one is going to Duke Snider.  I’ve seen a ton of successes from Mr. Snider recently online(mine included) and I have become quite the fan after taking the time to research and learn about him and his amazing career.  I hope he comes through with another autograph for me – I would love to add another legendary Hall Of Famer to my collection!!!

This package was dropped into the mailbox this morning….

Thanks ‘Santa’.

TTM Success: Hall Of Famer Duke Snider!!!

9 days.  9 days was all that it took for this Hall of Fame and Dodger great to return these 2 cards to me signed.

Duke Snider 2

Of the 5 autograph requests that I put in the mail less than 2 weeks ago, I am a little surprised that Mr. Sinder is the first one that I got back.  I’m not at all surprised that he signed for me, as he has one of the best reputations of all of the HOF’ers when it comes to signing through the mail.  I’m just surprised it was back to me that quick.  

My envelope had to go across the country from Florida to California and them back to me.  And Veteran’s Day was mixed in there too…

Thank you for the great autographs Mr. Snider!!  These are incredible additions to my collection.


5 New TTM Requests Are In The Mail!!!

I’m Back!!!!

Back into the game of TTM autograph collecting that is…

It took some time to get organized, and I still have a ton of shopping to do for the next few rounds of cards I want to send out for autographs this off-season, but these 5 letters along with the 3 TTM/Interview requests I sent out a few days ago have gotten the ball rolling.

I’ve got a pretty exciting list of guys that I want to go after and I will do my best to chronicle this journey as the mail goes out and hopefully autographs come back home.

For this round, we have:  Charles Johnson, Jim Palmer, Bobby Richardson, Roberto Alomar, and Duke Snider!!!


Wish me luck!!!