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Sports Then and Now



Remembering the Greatness of Duke Snider 5

Posted on February 27, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Duke Snider was a key part of the Boys of Summer.

One of the few remaining ties to the glory days of the Brooklyn Dodgers is gone with the death on Sunday of Hall of Fame outfielder Duke Snider at the age of 84.

Snider made his major league debut two days after his famous teammate Jackie Robinson on April 17, 1947  and over the next decade teamed with Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Gil Hodges, Roy Campanella and others to form the famous “Boys of Summer.”

The Dodgers made six World Series appearances between 1947 and 1956 and in 1955 finally claimed the World Series title with a seven game series win over their regular nemesis the New York Yankees.

It was during that 1955 season that Snider reached his plateau as the leading slugger for the Dodgers. He finished second in the MVP voting while hitting .309 with 42 home runs and a career-high 136 RBI.

During the World Series, Snider hit .320 with four home runs and seven RBI. In six career World Series appearances, Snider hit .286 with 11 home runs and 26 RBI.

Baseball during the Golden Era of the 1950s was still a time when our heroes could be immortalized without fear that a drug scandal was on the horizon.

Known as the “Duke of Flatbush”, Snider was forever paired with fellow New York centerfielders of the 1950s Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle in the “Talkin’ Baseball” refrain of “Willie, Mickey and the Duke.”

Because he was arguably the third best of the three greats, Snider often was overlooked and his numbers cast aside. It took him an amazing 11 years before he received enough votes to earn induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Read the rest of this entry →

New York Mets: Anatomy of a Franchise – Part 2, Lost in Space 2

Posted on October 09, 2009 by Richard Marsh
Like the 1960s TV series, the New York Mets spent most of the 1960s Lost in Space.

Like the 1960s TV series, the New York Mets spent most of the 1960s Lost in Space.

The 1960’s among many other things were known for the next level of television programming. If the 50” were the “Golden Age of TV”, then the 1960’s were “The Teenage Years”. Oh my God!

I was a big Star Trek fan. I wanted to be Lincoln Hayes from the Mod Squad and Colonel Gallagher from 12 O’clock High. I didn’t watch the show that this article bares it’s name. I was told it was about a family that was lost in space. It had an old guy (no interest there) a whiney kid (oh yeah, just wonderful) and a talking robot that Spock would have said was interesting but totally illogical. Not for me by a long shot.

My high school years over I spent most of that summer watching the inaugural New York Mets team lose game after game after game. Seriously, the best part of really the first seven seasons was watching some of the greatest players to have ever played the game showcase their skills at the Polo Grounds.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rocky Colavito: Super Slugger
      March 30, 2020 | 7:24 pm
      Rocky Colavito

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      In some sense, the legend of Rocco “Rocky” Colavito Jr. began long before he ever started pounding home runs at the major league level.

      Born and raised as a New York Yankees fan in The Bronx, Colavito was playing semipro baseball before he was a teenager and dropped out of high school at 16 after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career. The major league rule at the time said a player could not sign with a pro team until his high school class graduated, but after sitting out for one year, Colavito was allowed to sign at age 17.

      Read more »

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