Edwin Donald “Duke” Snider was an American baseball player who majorly played for Los Angeles Dodgers.
An eight times National League (NL) All-Star, Duke has been named the NL Most Valuable Player (MVP) runner in 1955.
Throughout his career, Duke played for several other teams, including Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Mets, and San Francisco Giants.
So what was his life like? Let’s review that in detail. But first, check out some quick facts about Duke Snider.
|Full Name||Edwin Donald Snider|
|Birth Date||19 September 1926|
|Date of Death||27 February 2011|
|Birth Place||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Nick Name||Duke, The Silver Fox, The Duke of Flatbush|
|Father’s Name||Ward Snider|
|Mother’s Name||Florence Johnson Snider|
|Education||Compton High School|
|Age (When he died)||96 Years Old|
|Height||6 feet 0 inches (or 1.83 m)|
|Weight||150 pounds (or 68 kg)|
|Spouse||Beverly Null Snider|
|Children||4; Kevin Snider, Pam Chodola, Kurt Snider, Dawana Amino|
|Jersey Number||#28 (San Francisco Giants), #4 (Los Angeles Dodgers)|
|Affiliations||Major League Baseball (MLB)|
|Teams||Brooklyn Dodgers, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants|
|Net Worth||$2 million|
|Merch||Jersey, Rookie Card|
|Last Update||January, 2023|
Duke Snider | Early Childhood and Education
Duke was born on 19 September 1926 in Los Angeles, California, U.S. He was born as Edwin Donald Snider. Later on, his father nicknamed him “Duke” at age five because of his swagger.
His dad would comment, “Here comes the Duke.” He was born to Ward Snider (Father) and Florence Johnson Snider (Mother).
Moreover, he was the only child of the two. Ward Snider himself was a semipro baseball player in his native Ohio.
Duke’s nationality is American, and his ethnicity is White. It is not known what religion he followed or whether he followed any at all.
He graduated from Compton High School, class of 1944. Duke was known to be a gifted all-around athlete and played track, basketball, football, and baseball during his high school years.
It is claimed that he could throw the football up to 70 yards far and hence was a strong-armed quarterback.
He was on the same basketball team as Pete Rozelle, the National Football League’s future commissioner. He pitched and batted profoundly on the baseball team.
Duke Snider | Age, Height, and Physical Appearance
Duke was 84 years old when he passed away, and since he was born on 19 September, he was a Virgo. He stood 6 feet 0 inches (or 1.83 m) tall at his prime.
His weight was 150 pounds (or 68 kg). He was a handsome man with a muscular build with brown hair and blue eyes, perfect for an athlete’s structure.
Duke Snider | Career
In the 1940s, Duke Snider was noticed by one of Branch Rickey’s scouts. After that, Duke was signed to a baseball contract in 1943 for a $750 bonus and a salary of $250 a month.
For a brief period, he played for the Montreal Royals of the International League in 1944, where he batted twice, and for the Newport News Dodgers in the Piedmont League in the same year in the Class B Piedmont League.
There, he played 131 games, batting .294 while leading the league with thirty-four doubles and nine home runs.
He also compiled twenty-five assists in the outfield. He played for the Fort Worth Cats in 1946 and for St. Paul Saints in 1947.
With his explosive swing, his grace in the field, and his blazing speed, everyone could see his potential clearly. Duke was considered the jewel of the Dodgers organization.
During their spring training in 1947, Duke got a chance to try out for the Brooklyn Dodgers and was a backup outfielder for Brooklyn Dodger’s opening day.
In the second Brooklyn Dodger game of the 1947 season on April 17, he got his first major league to bat, and he hit a single. Later on, he played in 39 more games that season.
On 4 July 1947, he was sent to the St. Paul team but later returned to the Dodgers at the end of the season, which was just in time for the World Series against the New York Yankees.
Rickey and batting coach George Sisler helped Duke at the spring training in 1948 to correct his overswing. This spring training was the turning point of Duke’s baseball career.
After the spring training, Duke was loaned to Montreal in the 1948 season. In 1949, he became a regular major leaguer. He was hitting more home runs and batted his way into the World Series.
He played in six post-seasons with the Dodgers (1949, 1952-53, 1955-56, 1959). The Dodgers won the World Series in 1955 and 1959.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The team moved to Los Angeles in 1958. While the team moved on, Duke’s career numbers declined.
In 1958, he only hit 15 home runs, but he did help the Dodgers with their World Series win in Los Angeles.
By 1961, he had an aching knee and gray hair even though he was only 35. Hence, he was eventually reduced to a part-time player.
New York Mets
Duke eventually left Dodgers and joined the New York Mets. He recorded his 2000th hit on 16 April 1963 at Crosley Field against the Cincinnati Reds on a single-off, Jim Maloney in the 2nd inning.
Also, he recorded his 400th home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning off Bob Purkey.
He was named the All-Star Game in Cleveland for the eighth and final time.
For the New York Mets, he appeared in 129 games while batting a slash line of .243/.345/.401, with 14 home runs, 45 RBIs, 45 walks, and 56 strikeouts.
San Francisco Giants
In 1964, Duke was sold to the San Francisco Giants. Instead of his usual number 4, Duke took number 28.
For the San Francisco Giants, he appeared in 91 games while batting a line of .210/.302/.323, with four home runs, 17 RBIs, 22 walks, and 40 strikeouts.
He played in three different positions for the San Francisco Giants. He retired at the end of that season.
For the entirety of his career, he finished with a .295 batting average, 2116 hits, 1259 runs, 407 home runs, and 1333 RBI.
Upon retirement, Duke became a popular and respected TV/radio analyst and play-by-play announcer for the San Diego Padres from 1969 to 1971. Then he moved on to Montreal Expos from 1973 to 1986.
Duke also acted in television shows and films as himself or as a professional baseball player.
His filmography includes playing himself in “Hero Father,” a guest appearance on “The Rifleman,” and playing Wallace in “The Retired Gun.”
Other includes playing in “The Geisha Boy” (1958), the Cranker in “The Trouble with Girls” (1969), and a Steamer fan in “Pastime” (1990).
He was also featured in “Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts of Flatbush” (2007). Not to mention, he has also written a book called The Duke of Flatbush with Bill Gilbert.
Duke Snider | Net Worth and Controversy
In 1956, Duke’s annual salary was $50,000. Besides, during his New York Mets days, his yearly salary was $36,000 in 1963.
As a famous professional baseball player, his estimated net worth was $2 million.
This, however, was very low compared to other players such as Mickey Mantle, whose annual salary was about $100,000.
Tax Fraud Controversy
During the 1980s and 1990s, there was a trend of retired players doing public appearances and signing autographs.
As such, Duke was also in high demand. However, he took some of his cash fees and failed to declare those payments on his income-tax returns.
In 1995, both he and fellow Hall of Famer Willie McCovey was indicted for tax evasion. They both pleaded guilty.
Duke admitted to having more than $100,000 income from those appearances in the time period of 1984 to 1993.
He was given two years of probation, fined $5000, and ordered to pay as much as $57,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties. Later, Snider apologized publicly.
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Duke Snider | Player Profile
Duke had a great throwing arm, grace, and athleticism. He had a remarkable ability, competitiveness, and drive to succeed.
Coaches used to admire his potential, explosive swing, his grace in the field, and his blazing speed on the bases.
During his prime days, he was known for his difficult temperament and temper. He was immature, moody, and temperamental.
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Who is Duke Snider’s wife? Personal Life and Children
Duke married his high school sweetheart Beverly Null. They had four children together; Pam, Kurt, Kevin, and Dawna.
There aren’t many details regarding their marriage as this was before social media and the internet.
However, there were never any rumors of Duke dating any other woman in his entire life. He was committed to a single woman only till he died.
He served in the U.S. Navy for eighteen months in 1945 and 1946.
At one point in his life, he had an avocado ranch and a bowling center. However, the bowling center was not a success and had to close it. He even had to sell his beloved ranch.
He suffered a heart attack in 1987 and lost twenty-five pounds, and had to undergo valve replacement surgery.
What year did Duke Snider die? Death
For years, Duke had diabetes, hypertension, and other illnesses. He died on 27 February 2011 at the age of 84 at the Valle Vista Convalescent Hospital in Escondido, California.
He was the last living Brooklyn Dodger on the field for the final out of the 1955 World Series.
Social Media Presence:
Did Duke Snider play for the Brooklyn Dodgers?
Yes, Duke Snider played for Brooklyn Dodgers from 1947-1962.
Is Duke Snider in the Hall of Fame?
Duke Snider was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980.
When was Duke Snider’s last home run?
Duke Snider hit his last home run ever in Ebbets Field in 1957.
Where is Duke Snider’s grave?
Duke Snider was buried in Masonic Cemetery Fallbrook, San Diego County, California, USA.
Did Duke Snider ever play for giants?
Duke Snider played his final two years with the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants before retiring after the 1964 campaign.
What is Duke Snider Lanes?
Duke Snider Lanes was a bowling alley located in Fallbrook, California that was owned by baseball player Duke Snider.
Which Duke Snider Jersey number is retired?
Duke Snider jersey number #4 was retired from Los Angeles Dodgers on July 6, 1980.
What is a Duke Snider baseball card value?
Duke Snider baseball card worth $0.34-$1.35.