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Cats to retire Duke Snider's Jersey Sat., May 22

May 20, 2004 - Central Baseball League (Central League) - Fort Worth Cats News Release

The Fort Worth Cats will retire Duke Snider’s No. 4 Cats jersey during a pre-game ceremony before the Fort Worth-Coastal Bend game, Saturday, May 22 at LaGrave Field. Snider’s appearance on Saturday will be the first time he’s been back to LaGrave Field since he played exhibition games for the Brooklyn Dodgers against the Cats in the 1950s. This marks the second jersey retired in the history of the Cats. Last year the Cats retired Bobby Bragan’s No. 10 jersey. The Cats will give away 1,500 Duke Snider bobblehead dolls Friday, May 21.

Edwin Donald “Duke” Snider played for the Cats in 1946 after being discharged from the Navy. He joined the Cats on the Fourth of July and ended up batting .250 in 68 regular season games. Snider finished the ’46 season with five home runs and 30 RBI. He helped lead the Cats to a first place finish in the Texas League with a record of 101-53. Fort Worth won the regular season title by 10 games over the Dallas Eagles, but ended up losing to Dallas in the playoffs.

Snider debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, but it wasn’t until 1949 that he became a regular. He played center field for Brooklyn and gave New Yorkers the game’s three hardest hitting center fielders from 1951 to 1957 when Mickey Mantle played for the Yankees and Willie Mays suited up for the Giants. During the 1950s, when all three players patrolled center field for New York teams, Snider hit more home runs (326) and drove in more runs (1,031) than anyone in the game.

Nicknamed “The Duke of Flatbush,” Snider played for six Dodgers’ pennant winners. Brooklyn won the World Championship in 1955 when the Dodgers finally beat the Yankees. Duke led all Dodgers’ regulars with a .320 batting average, and his four home runs made him the first player to hit four homers in two different World Series. He first accomplished the feat in the 1952 Fall Classic. His lifetime 11 Series home runs and 26 RBI are the best marks for any National Leaguer. The seven-time N.L. All-Star ranks atop the all-time Dodger list for home runs (389), extra-base hits (814) and RBI (1,271).

Snider was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1980 with 407 home runs and 1,333 RBI to go along with a career batting average of .295. He played for Brooklyn (1947-57), Los Angeles (1958-62), the New York Mets (1963) and the San Francisco Giants (1964).

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