Only the hardcore fans and the older generation have heard about Duke Snider.
Duke Snider was an incredible American Baseball Player.
Likewise, Duke has played for the most elite baseball teams, such as the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Furthermore, he also played for the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants.
Most importantly, Snider was enlisted in the Hall of Fame. Duke was also an eight-time All-Star MLB player.
If Duke were alive today, he’d be close to hitting a century in age.
But sadly, he is not among us as he died at the age of 84 in 2011 in California.
This article will describe early life, career, controversies, death, and more about the legendary baseball player.
|Edwin Donald Duke Snider
|Duke, The Silver Fox, and The Duke of Flatbush
|Date of birth
|September 19, 1926
|Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Date of death
|February 27, 2011
|Place of death
|Age when he died
|84 years old
|April 17, 1947
|Last MLB Appearance
|October 3, 1964
New York Mets
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
|Compton High School
|Florence Johnson Snider
|Beverly Null Snider
|6 ft (183cm)
|81 kg (179lb)
|Signed Jersey, Rookie Cards
Duke Snider: Early Life, Education & Family
On September 19, 1926, Duke Snider was born in Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Similarly, Edwin Donald Snider is his birth name.
Likewise, The Duke of Flatbush was born to his parents, Ward Snider and Florence Johnson Snider.
Furthermore, Duke was the only son of the couple and had no siblings.
Moreover, Ward, his father, was a semi-pro baseball player in Ohio.
Similarly, his mother, Florence Snider, was a housewife and cared for the household.
Duke was white in ethnicity and had American citizenship, but his religion was undisclosed.
Duke got his name from his father because of his swagger attitude at five.
Ever since then, Edwin became Duke to everyone he knew.
Likewise, as he grew up with his dad, he had a lot of baseball influence from his father as he was also a baseball player.
As a result, he grew up loving baseball games and decided that he wanted to become one.
Similarly, at the age of 14, Snider joined Compton High School.
Furthermore, Duke played several sports and was an all-rounder athlete.
Likewise, Duke played track, football, baseball, and basketball in high school.
Additionally, it is also said that he could throw a ball 70 yards and was a strong-armed quarterback.
In addition to that, he graduated with the class of 1944 from Compton High.
He also played in the same basketball team as Pete Rozelle, the National Football League’s Commissioner.
Duke Snider: Career
Minor Leagues Career
Snider was scouted by one of Branch Rickey‘s scouts in the 1940s.
Similarly, Duke started playing baseball as soon as he graduated in 1944.
Likewise, Snider played for the Montreal Royals of the International League while batting twice for them.
In 1944, he started playing for the Newport News Dodgers in the Piedmont League.
After that, he went on to join the U.S. Navy, and when he came back, Duke played for the Fort Worth Cats in 1946 and the St.Paul Saints in 1947.
Because of his swinging methods, he was soon discovered by the Major leagues.
Major Leagues Career
Likewise, in the spring training session, Duke became part of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
Furthermore, The Silver Fox was initially a backup outfielder.
Moreover, on April 17, he got to bat for the Dodgers and hit a single.
He played 39 games for the Dodgers before returning to the St. Paul Saints.
Similarly, Duke returned for the end of the season for the World Series against the New York Yankees.
Furthermore, Snider’s coach George Sissler helped him improve during the spring training of 1948.
Most importantly, in 1949, Duke became a regular major leaguer.
He batted for the Dodgers for the next six seasons, and they won the World Series in 1955 and 1959.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Brooklyn Dodgers moved Duke to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1959.
Even though the Los Angeles Dodgers won their first World Series, Duke’s stats were on the low, and his number declined day by day.
Maybe it was the stress, but Duke already had an aching back and gray hair even though he was thirty-five years old.
Because of his stats, the Dodgers eventually had to demote him to a part-time player.
New York Mets
When Duke figured he could do the Dodgers no more good, he decided to move on. He joined the New York Mets.
Similarly, Snider wanted the number 4 jersey that was familiar to him.
But Charlie Neal refused to give it up, and he settled for being number 11 on the team and later switched back to number 4.
At Crosley Field, he scored his 2000th hit on April 16, 1963, against the Cincinnati Reds’ Jim Maloney in the second inning.
He also scored his 400th home run on June 14 of the same year against the Reds.
Most importantly, The Duke of Flatbush was named All-star in Cleveland while with the Mets.
Duke played 129 games for the Mets in which he had:
- 14 home runs
- 45 RBIs
- 45 walks
- 56 strikeouts
However, he was again traded to the other team after a season.
San Francisco Giants
Likewise, Duke started playing for the San Francisco Giants in 1964.
Similarly, Snider wanted to wear his jersey number 4, but it was retired by Mel Otts.
So he settled for the number 28.
Additionally, Donald Snider played 91 games for the Giants.
If you are interested, here’s a video showing some of the best highlights of Snider’s career!
Duke played in three positions for the Giants, playing 26 games in the right field and 18 in the left field with 288.2 innings.
He had no thirds for the first time in his career. He gave the Giants:
- 4 home runs
- 17 RBIs
- 40 strikeouts
- 22 walks
This season with Giants was his last season, and then he retired.
Some of his Major League Baseball career statistics are mentioned down below:
- .295 batting average
- 2116 hits
- 1259 runs
- 1333 RBIs
- He played all three outfield positions.
Career as an Analyst and an Author
After retiring from major league baseball, Duke became a famous and loved T.V./analyst and play-by-play announcer for the San Diego Padres from 1969 to 1971.
Furthermore, Duke even worked for the Montreal Expos for 13 years, from 1973 to 1986.
Likewise, Duke authored a book called The Duke of Flatbush.
Duke took on some acting jobs and appeared as himself in some roles.
However, Duke is most known for his role in the television series Father knows Best as Hero Father in 1956.
Similarly, Duke made did a cameo on the Chuck Connors T.V series The Rifleman,
Likewise, Snider played the role the Wallace in the Retired Gun.
In 1958, the then Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder was cast in The Geisha Boy.
Furthermore, Snider was cast as Cranker in The Troubles with Girls.
Most importantly, Duke was featured in Talkin’ Baseball, a song released in 1981.
Moreover, The Silver Fox acted as a Steamer Fan in Pastime, released in 1990.
Likewise, his last known involvement in a project was in 2007 in the Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghost of Flatbush.
When the second world war broke out, Duke decided to join the U.S. Navy for eighteen months from 1945 to 1946.
Likewise, Duke was also interested in different business ventures.
Furthermore, the legendary baseball player was an Avocado ranch and a Bowling center.
But due to some problems, both the business failed, and he had to sell the Avocado ranch.
Duke Snider: Love Life & Children
Duke met the love of his life Beverly Null in his high school days.
Similarly, the high school sweethearts married in 1947.
Duke never dated any women besides Beverly and was committed to a single love his entire life.
Likewise, the beautiful couple has four children together.
Furthermore, two of them are sons named Kevin and Kurt.
Moreover, two of them were daughters whose names are Pam and Dawna.
Similarly, the family of 6 people lived in a lavish home situated in Duke’s hometown, Los Angeles, California.
Duke Snider: Health & Demise
Snider has gone through some pain throughout his career; some are mentioned below!
On March 6, 1958, the baseball legend had a car accident.
Likewise, he crashed his sports car in which he was with Johnny Podres and Don Zimmer.
Moreover, due to Duke’s car crashing into the ditch, Snider injured his left knee, whereas Podres’ neck was fractured.
Duke had health problems and suffered from a heart attack in 1987.
Furthemore, Snider underwent valve replacement surgery, and during recovery, the baseball player lost about 25 pounds.
Before his death, Duke suffered from many health issues, including diabetes and other coronary diseases.
Likewise, Duke’s cause of death was unknown as he passed away on February 27, 2011.
Similarly, most of his family members claim that he had a natural death because of his growing age.
Additionally, The Silver Fox died at the age of 84 at the Valle Vista Convalescent Hospital in Escondido, California.
Duke Snider: Net Worth
Duke had a successful baseball career and made some wealth out of it.
Likewise, considering what today’s player earns, the money he earned might seem like nothing.
But this was almost five decades ago, and it seems he amassed a good fortune with the inflation.
Duke’s net worth is estimated to be $2 million, and he made about $50,000 in a year in 1956.
He made about $36,500 in 1963 as salary when he was a part of the New York Mets.
Even in his time, Duke was underpaid compared to many players as Mickey Mantle earned $100,000 and Willie Mays made $165,000.
Other than that, Duke also earned from signing autographs and merchandise. He also did side jobs of acting and earned from the book he authored.
Duke Snider: Controversies
Back in the 80s, celebrity appearance became a paid thing. And that is what a lot of retired players did for income.
Duke also tried his hand at it, started signing autographs at events, and charged for appearance.
However, Duke failed to declare the income tax return in the cash he earned from these events in one of those instances.
He was charged with tax evasion. Hall of Famer Willie McCovey was also indicted along with him.
Similarly, both of them pleaded guilty in the court of law and paid a fine of $5000.
He earned more than $100,000 from these events from 1984 to 1993. In addition, he paid $57,000 in back taxes.
Duke Snider: Social Media
During his time alive, Duke wasn’t active on any social media.
Duke Snider: Fun Facts
- Snider’s vintage Baseball gloves he used in matches he played for Los Angeles Dodgers are sold for over $100.
- The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum interviewed Duke, in which he revealed some of the amazing things in his career.
- Likewise, Willie Mays was one of Snider’s best friends.
- The Brooklyn Dodgers team in which Duke played was called Boys of Summer.
- Jackie Robinson was one of Snider’s idols.
- Duke Snider, Johnny Podres, and Don Zimmer were injured in 1958 as Snider drove his sports car into a ditch.
- Additionally, Snider injured his left knee and was off the field for a long period.
Duke Snider: FAQs
Is Duke Snider Hall Of Famer?
Yes, Duke is a legendary Hall of Famer.
The Los Angeles native was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980 on the 11th ballot.
How and when did Duke Snider die?
Duke Snider passed away on February 27, 2011.
Similarly, his family stated that Snider passed away from natural causes as he was already 84 at his death.