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Dodgers disciplined for playing golf, September 13, 1958

September 13, 2008 |  5:44 am

Dodgers discipline two players

Duke Snider and Clem Labine face sanctions for playing golf on game day.

1958_september_13_sports By Keith Thursby
Times staff writer

The Dodgers' first season in Los Angeles was tough on Duke Snider.

The veteran outfielder's power numbers were way down in 1958, thanks to knee trouble and the huge dimensions of the Coliseum that were impossible for a left-handed hitter. He would hit only 15 home runs in 1958, after hitting at least 40 home runs each season from 1953-57.

Snider received a little unwelcome publicity when The Times headlined the news that he and pitcher Clem Labine "faced the prospect" of fines or other discipline for violating a team rule on a game day in Pittsburgh.

Their offense--they played golf.

The story had a small presence on the sports cover, but it was on the cover! It wasn't packaged with the Dodgers' game story that night, which makes me wonder if something dropped out or came up short late.

This was not the first trouble for Snider in 1958. Early in the season, he was docked a day's pay after straining his arm trying to throw a ball out of the Coliseum, according to stories in The Times. Again, not exactly a big deal (particularly at 1958 salaries).

As for the game, the Dodgers beat the Pirates, 7-3. The hero, of course, was Snider with a home run and three other hits. The Times' Frank Finch wrote: "Swinging a bat instead of a 5-iron Duke Snider burned up the Forbes Field course tonight."

Finch got a great quote from Snider he used in a story that appeared Sept. 14. "If playing golf on the day of a game is the worst thing I do in the next four or five years, I'll settle for it," he said.