January 10, 2009 | 8:00
||The Dodgers announced they were moving the Coliseum fences in and The Times saw it as a victory for Duke Snider.
The dimensions were reduced in center (425 feet to 410) and
right-center fields (440 to 385). The short porch and tall screen in
left field weren't changed. The Times' Frank Finch noted that Snider
hit 40 or more home runs in five consecutive seasons but hit only six
home runs in the Coliseum in 1957.
"Time after time enemy outfielders camped under drives by Duke which
would have been home runs in other National League parks," Finch wrote.
But Snider, in a story last year by The Times' Ross Newhan, blamed a
1957 knee surgery more than the Coliseum for his power decline. "That
was before arthroscopic surgery and the knee was never the same,"
Snider said. "I was never the same hitter, I had to change my whole
had to try to be more of a contact hitter, a tough adjustment
when you've been a free swinger your entire career."
Snider was no fan of the ballpark, however. "Baseball deserves its
own identity," he said. "It shouldn't ever be piecemealed into a
football and track stadium, which is what the Coliseum is."
One strange thing about the original story: General manager Buzzie
Bavasi said the Dodgers wanted to get Manager Walt Alston's approval
before making the changes official.