Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Friday, November 1, 2013

Duke Snider Quotes a Day After His Least Favorite Holiday

Halloween has come and gone this year and I must say that no Halloween passes by for me without a memory of Duke Snider going through my mind.  The Duke let it be know that he hated Halloween.  Why?  "Giants Colors,"  he said.  Never mind that Duke finished up his career in 1964 trying to prolong it in San Francisco because nobody else would give him a chance.  But after 16 of his 18 years in the Dodger organization, it's safe to say that he was a Dodger through and through.

A few years back I posted a number of the Duke's great quotes.  They're worth revisiting today as they still ring true.  What a great Dodger and ambassador for the game.

On the modern day player and their higher salaries:

Man, if I made a million dollars I would come in at six in the morning, sweep the stands, wash the uniforms, clean out the office, manage the team and play the games.”  (Sport Magazine, April, 1980)

On baseball in general and the things that remain the same over the years:

"The sport to which I owe so much has undergone profound changes, but it's still baseball.  Kids still imitate their heroes on playgrounds.  Fans still ruin expensive suits going after foul balls that cost five dollars.  Hitting streaks still make the network news and hot dogs still taste better at the ballpark than at home." (New York Times, January 10, 1980)

On player travel and team bonding:
"Today's baseball players are walking conglomerates.  They have fantastic salaries, multiple investments, but we had one thing they don't have today, the train ride.  We didn't always like it, but those rides kept us close as a team and as friends.  Something you can't get on a two hour plane ride that used to take you fifteen hours on a train." (New York Times, January 10, 1980)

Following the 1953 World Series loss to the Yankees:
"I still say we're the better team. That's the rottenest thing in life, isn't it?  The best team doesn't always win." (The Boys of Summer, Roger Kahn)

Here are a few more that weren't shared:

"The field was even greener than my boy's mind had even pictured it.  In later years friends of ours had visited Ireland and said the grass was plenty green alright, but that not even the Emerald Isle itself was as green as the grass that grew in Ebbets Field."

"In the split second from the time the ball leaves the pitcher's hand until it reaches the plate you have to think about your stride, your hip action, your wrist action, determine how much, if any the ball is going to break and then decide whether to swing at it.  Yeah, baseball's not that complicated."

"What a player does best he should practice the least.  Practice is for problems."

"We wept.  Brooklyn was a lovely place to hit.  If you hit the ball in the air, you had a chance to get it out.  When they tore down Ebbets Field, they tore down a little piece of me."

"Swing hard in case they throw the ball where you're swinging."


Last, this excerpt from Kahn's famous book:

Pee Wee Reese's favorite story.  

Four players rode a car pool from Bay Ridge to the Polo Grounds in 1951, and on Reese's night to drive a motorcycle patrolman stopped them.  Approaching, the policeman burst out, "Pee Wee. It's you. Why you driving so fast?"

"Big series with the Giants, officer. Kind of nervous."

"Don't listen to that, officer," Snider said.  "He deserves a ticket."

"Hiya, Duke," the cop said.  " Gee, fellers.  What a thrill for me.  Good luck, and take it easy, will ya, Pee Wee?"

Snider drove the next night and within a mile of the same spot another policeman sounded a short siren burst from Die Walkure.  Then he took Snider's license and started writing.

"Say officer.  That Edwin Donald Snider is Duke Snider.  I'm the Dodgers center fielder."

Without looking up the policeman said, "I hate baseball."  He handed Snider the ticket for speeding.


1 comment:

  1. Evan - you melted me down on this one. I love that picture of Duke and as always Duke made great quoteable remarks.

    I had the absolute pleasure of watching Duke as a color commentator with the Expos from 1973-86. He worked with Dave Van Horne who in my opinion is easily one of the best broadcasters in MLB.

    Duke was a great partner. They obviously liked each other and Duke knew when to speak. Duke's high year in salary was $44,000. When asked about being a multi million a year player with his stats, Duke replied he played in the Golden Age of Baseball without all the modern era distractions. He also said in his highest year he was making ten times as much as his Dad and doing so playing a game.

    At one time I thought Matt might replace Duke as the best Dodger CF. He won't but oddly enough Matt matured faster than Duke who took several years to control his emotions.