Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Duke of Flatbush Has Passed Away...

Hey everyone, Drew back here. Today is another one of those sad days in baseball, as a legendary center fielder has passed away today. Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Famer Duke Snider passed away today at the age of 84, after battling some health problems over the past couple years.

Duke began his career in 1947 after being scouted by one of Branch Rickey's scouts in the early 1940's. He joined Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays to become perhaps the best trio of center fielders you could ever imagine. There was even a song having to do with that, called "Willie, Mickey, and the Duke" by Terry Cashman.

Duke played 18 total seasons, 16 for the Dodgers, and 1 season with the Mets and Giants. He hit 40 or more home runs for 5 straight seasons, which is a pretty incredible streak long before the steroid era. While he may have not had the speed of Willie Mays and the popularity of the Mick, Duke was a phenomenal player and one of the greatest outfielders to ever live. With 2,116 hits, 407 home runs, and a life time batting average of .295, he may be considered one of the most underrated players in the Hall of Fame.

I was fortunate enough to get quite a nice little stack of nice Snider cards before his death. I first sent a TTM out to him and got my 2 cards back signed. Next, Dad gave me a certified Nabisco autograph for Christmas of his, and I recently picked up the 1961 Topps card shown above at a card shop for only $5. I definitely will be looking for more of his stuff in the future, to pay tribute to the wonderful life and career of the Silver Fox.

R.I.P. Mr. Snider, you will truly be missed...

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