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Brooklyn Honors Baseball Legend Duke Snider

Monday, February 28, 2011

Brooklyn Dodgers pennant Brooklyn Dodgers pennant (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

The flag of Brooklyn flew at half mast Monday to commemorate the death of Brooklyn Dodgers legend Duke Snider, who died Sunday. He was 84.

Brooklyn borough President Marty Markowitz, who ordered the flag lowered, said in a statement that Snider was "one of the greatest baseball players ever."

He said even though the Dodgers left Brooklyn for Snider's birthplace, Los Angeles โ€” or "La-La Land" as Markowitz called it โ€” Snider will always be an "honorary Brooklynite."

Snider, one of the "Boys of Summer," retired in 1964 and was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980

Speaking on the Leonard Lopate Show after the publication of his autobiography "The Duke of Flatbush" in 2002, he described what went through his head while standing at the plate: "The game dictates your approach. Very seldom have I ever gone to the plate and thought about hitting a homerun and hit one," he said. "I swung hard in case they threw where I was swinging. And sometimes the pitchers threw right where I was swinging and I hit the ball hard."

He went on to discuss his transition from player to manager in the minor leagues and a rookie league.

(Full audio from that interview at the top page)

Special thanks to WNYC's archivist Andy Lanset.

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Comments [1]

Jeff Pilon from Simi Valley , Ca

In 2005 as a Limousine driver ,I had the privilege to drive the "Duke" to a Dodger game to promote his book, and sign them for the fans.
I picked him up near Vista California right on a Golf course.
His wife opened the garage to greet me and inside was the Boys Of Summer poster.
I had to ask my Dad who all the players were, and he smiled.
I drove him to a hotel in Pasadena and picked him up awhile later to go to the game.
We got to the stadium and they greeted him with open arms, and he insisted I park the car and come inside as his guest.
While inside I talked about the 2 years I spent driving Vin Sculley and the Duke introduced me to Sweet Lou Johnson , and Mark the Dodger Rep gave me a ball to have them both sign. and we ate Dodger dogs and talked Baseball.
I still have that ball.
I took the Duke back to the Hotel, and picked him up the following morning to go back to Vista , and he spoke of the following week being inducted into the Minor League Hall of Fame and about Baseball and his connections to LA and Lou Johnson. As well as the Steve Howe funeral.
I dropped him at his home on the golf course and he gave me a very large tip for the last 2 days I had been with him and we said our good byes.
I thought as I left what a classy and wonderfully thoughtful gentle man this was , and at his age he still loved the game of baseball and looked like he could still put a hurt on a baseball.
In my job as a Limo driver I have had the opportunity to drive other MLB players and my time with the Duke is always a fond and cherished memory.

Feb. 28 2011 08:17 PM

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