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Duke Snider, Dodger great, dies at 84

February 27, 2011 | 12:51 pm

Snider Duke Snider, one of the Brooklyn Dodgers' Boys of Summer and one of three outstanding New York center fielders in the 1950s, died Sunday. He was 84.

Snider died at the Valle Vista Convalescent Hospital in Escondido, the Dodgers announced. No cause was given.

Here is a look at how dominant Snider was during his career with the Dodgers. From the Los Angeles Times' obituary by former staff writer Mike Kupper:

The Duke of Flatbush, a smooth-fielding outfielder and, thanks to his prowess as a home run hitter, a fan favorite in Ebbets Field, was a Dodger, both in Brooklyn and his native Los Angeles, for 16 of his 18 years in the major leagues. A Hall of Fame member, the eight-time All-Star helped the Dodgers to six National League championships, and Brooklyn's only World Series title, in his first 11 seasons, providing Dodger power from the left side of the plate.

Snider hit 40 or more homers in five consecutive seasons and during the 1950s led all major leaguers in home runs, 326; runs batted in, 1,031; runs scored, 970; and slugging percentage, .569. He finished his career with a lifetime batting average of .295 and 407 home runs, 389 of them as a Dodger, still the team record. He is the only player to have twice hit four homers in the World Series, matching his 1952 feat in '55, the year the Dodgers won the Series and he was named major league player of the year by Sporting News.

He hit the last home run in Ebbets Field and had the first hit in Dodger Stadium, a single on opening day in 1962, and was part of the 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers team that beat the Chicago White Sox in the World Series.

The complete obituary can be found here.

 -- Keith Thursby

 Photo: Duke Snider in 1952. Credit: Associated Press