Profiles of Valor
Edwin “Duke” Donald Snider was born in 1926 in Belvedere, California. Born with the confidence and swagger of royalty,Snider’s father nicknamed him “Duke” at a young age, and the name stuck. His confidence played an important role in thebeginning of his baseball career, catching the attention of the Dodgers at a try-out camp while still in high school, and thensigning with them after graduation. After attending the Dodgers’ 1944 spring training, Snider was sent to play for several of the Dodgers’ affiliates: Class B Piedmont League and Triple A Montreal Royals. Disappointed with his first season ofprofessional baseball, Snider enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1945, serving as a Fireman Third Class in Guam and LongBeach before being discharged in 1946.
Snider’s return to baseball resulted in a stint with the Class AA Texas League in Fort Worth, Texas, before beingpromoted to a starter on Brooklyn’s 1947 opening day roster. Snider’s moody temperament limited his presence on the ‘47 roster, resulting in his move to the St. Paul Saints of the American League for part of the season.
Snider was called up to Brooklyn in August 1948, hitting his first five Major homeruns that season. Snider’s singlesecured Pee Wee Reese’s run in Brooklyn’s win over the Philadelphia Phillies, winning the 1949 National League pennant.
In 1950, Snider’s breakthrough season launched him and the Dodgers’ into the limelight. Snider’s finished the season with a .321 average, 199 hits, and 343 total bases – placing Snider in the top five in eight categories. Snider’s eighteenseasons with the Dodgers came with many achievements to make Snider one of the Dodgers’ greatest hitters. He totaledsix All-Star appearances, two World Series Rings, 389 home runs and 1,271 RBIs,
Snider left Los Angeles after the 1962 season and played for the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants, before retiring in 1964. Duke Snider was elected in the 1980 Hall of Fame. In 1995, Snider plead guilty to tax evasion and lived until 2011 with a blemished reputation.