Dodgers Great Duke Snider Dead at 84

Hall of Fame centerfielder was contemporary of Mantle, Mays
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 27, 2011 3:22 PM CST
Duke Snider Obituary: Legendary Dodger Dies at 84
In this Oct. 8, 1959, file photo, Dodgers pitcher Larry Sherry, left, and center fielder Duke Snider embrace after the Dodgers defeated the White Sox to win the World Series.   (AP Photo.File)

Duke Snider, the Hall of Fame center fielder for the charmed "Boys of Summer" who helped the Dodgers bring their elusive and only World Series crown to Brooklyn, died early Sunday of what his family called natural causes. He was 84. "The Duke of Flatbush" hit .295 with 407 career home runs, played in the World Series six times and won two titles. But the eight-time All-Star was defined by much more than his stats—he was part of the love affair between Brooklyn and "Dem Bums" who lived in the local neighborhoods.

A durable slugger with a strong arm, good instincts on the bases, and a regal style, Snider swung his way to a nail-biter title in 1957 over the vaunted Yankees. He was often regarded as the third-best center fielder in New York—behind Willie Mays of the Giants and Mickey Mantle of the Yankees—during what many fans considered the city's golden era of baseball. "Baseball-wise, I was born in Brooklyn," Snider said once. "We lived with Brooklyn. We died with Brooklyn." (More Brooklyn Dodgers stories.)

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