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A picture of Duke Snider is displayed on the stadium scoreboard in honor of his life during the game bewteeen the Los Angeles Angels and the Los Angeles Dodgers during spring training at Camelback Ranch on February 27, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Former Dodger star Duke Snider died Sunday at a convalescent home in Escondido. He was 84. The “Duke of Flatbush” was a baseball superstar for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1950s – the equal of Mays and Mantle. Duke sparkled less in L.A. – but he had his moments.
The Dodgers’ move west was a homecoming for the L.A.-born and Compton-raised Snider. But the L.A> years were tough.
Duke had a bad knee and couldn’t hit lefties. The Coliseum’s right field fence was about 40 feet deeper than the one at Ebbets Field; some of Duke’s Brooklyn homers now would be L.A> outs. Snider was an All-Star seven times in Brooklyn – and not once in L.A.
But in three key games in 1959, Duke was king again. In September, his third inning homer in San Francisco got the Dodgers rolling to a win that jumped them over the Giants and into first place.
A few weeks later, his ninth inning single kept alive a rally that tied up a playoff game against Milwaukee. The Dodgers eventually won the game – and went to the World Series against the Chicago White Sox. World Series Game Six in Chicago: Snider blasts a two-run homer to give the Dodgers the lead.
They beat the Sox, 9-3, to win the World Series. Duke reigned in Los Angeles.