Members of the 500 Home Run Club mourn the loss of former Dodgers Hall of Fame outfielder Duke Snider, who died last Sunday at the age of 84.
During the 1950s, Snider was mentioned in the same sentence with Hall of Fame outfielders and 500 Home Run Club members Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays as one of the all-time greats. Snider hit 40 or more homers in five consecutive seasons and led all batters in home runs and RBIs during the ‘50s.
Known as The Duke of Flatbush, Snider hit 11 World Series home runs and drove in 26 runs in the Fall Classic.
As a centerfielder, Snider was the most dangerous bat in the Brooklyn Dodgers' lineup of the 1950s. He hit 40 or more homers five consecutive times and led all batters in home runs and RBIs during the '50s. The Duke of Flatbush hit four homers in two different World Series (1952 and '55), clouting a total of 11 Series home runs and 26 Series RBIs.
Snider truly loved the game of baseball. He once said: "Even if I made one million dollars I would come in at six in the morning, sweep the stands, wash the uniforms, clean out the office, manage the team and play the games."
Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said the following about Snider:
“We shed a tear in Cooperstown for the man affectionately tabbed by his fans,‘The Duke of Flatbush.’ There was no one classier or more easy-going than Duke Snider. He was nationally renowned for his smooth fielding and powerful bat – as evidenced by hitting more home runs in the 1950s than anyone else. He is still today revered by Brooklynites everywhere for patrolling center field in Ebbets Field with grace and dignity, leading the underdog Dodgers to six pennants and their only World Series title in New York in 1955. 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."