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Embracing a legend: Dodgers honor Duke Snider in ceremony

August 9, 2011 |  7:47 pm

That felt like family.

The Dodgers paid tribute to the greatest hitter in club history, Duke Snider, in a nice pregame ceremony Tuesday.

Snider, who passed away in February, is the franchise’s all-time leader in home runs, RBI and extra-base hits. He was an eight-time All-Star.

More than 40 members of his family were on the field at Dodger Stadium for the celebration. His Hall of Fame plaque was brought in for the ceremony and placed on an easel in front of home plate.

A granddaughter, Jenny Chodola, sang the national anthem.

The Dodgers showed a video montage of Snider’s exploits that included footage of Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Tommy Lasorda and Don Zimmer paying tribute. It also showed an old black-and-white Ovaltine TV commercial that included then 7-year-old son Kevin.

Lasorda presented Snider’s widow, Beverly, and their four children with a framed No. 4 jersey and four photos.

Then three of Snider’s children, including Kevin, threw out the first pitch. The Dodgers brought out their big guns to act as catchers -- manager Don Mattingly and All-Star outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. They threw three strikes.

The Dodgers wore the old Brooklyn caps in honor of Snider, and a bobblehead of his likeness was handed out to those in attendance.

The Dodges are wearing a No. 4 patch on their sleeves this season for Snider, who was born in Los Angeles in 1926.


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Photo: Duke Snider in 1962. Credit: Associated Press