"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Duke in his Domain

Here’s Roger Angell on Duke Snider:

I still feel that I owe him. I saw him play plenty of times, but carry only a fragmented memory of him in action: rounded shoulders, and that thick face tilting while the finish of his big, left-side stroke starts him up the baseline, his gaze fixed on the rising (and often departing) ball. A first-class center fielder, who eagerly closed the angle on line drives. Great arm. Good guy, terrific smile. Hall of Famer. Something smug in me used to relish him, even while I rooted against him. Growing up in Manhattan, I was a Giants fan first of all, a huge Yankees booster in the other league, and caught the Dodgers pretty much only when they played at the Polo Grounds. Which is to say a Willie Mays fan first and always; an awestruck admirer of Mickey Mantle when he succeeded Joe DiMaggio in center for the Yankees, in 1952, and aware of Snider, of course, over there in Ebbets Field: the third-best, or—since he overlapped Joe D.’s tenure by three seasons—maybe the fourth-best fabulous center-field slugger in town but a guaranteed superstar as well. If Snider was great, how much better did that make my guys? I met the Duke once or twice, long after he’d left the game—he was gone before I started writing about baseball—and wanted to apologize for patronizing him in my fan’s heart. He didn’t mind; he was a self-punisher, not a self-aggrandizer, and I don’t think he worried about status.

And click below for and excellent profile on Snider by Dick Young from “Inside Sports.”



1 williamnyy23   ~  Mar 3, 2011 12:10 pm

Snider really was a kind of rebel, especially for his day. He never seemed to shy away from confrontation, not with teammates, executives, or fans. In this day and age, he might even be looked as a bit of problem case, but he'd sure be fun to observe.

2 Chyll Will   ~  Mar 3, 2011 2:06 pm

[1] Charlie Sheen is available for a biopic...

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver