New York, NY (CBSNewYork) – MLB Commissioner Bud Selig along with other owners and Hall of Famers reacted to the death of Brooklyn Dodger Duke Snider:
“He was a key player during a special era in baseball, joining Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle to form New York City’s unparalleled triumvirate of center fielders — Willie, Mickey and The Duke. … I have many fond memories of watching Duke play, and I will be forever grateful for getting to know him well in the ensuing years.” — commissioner Bud Selig.
“Willie, Duke and Mickey. They were great players in one city, one town. Duke never got the credit of being the outfielder that Mays and Mantle were. First of all, it was a small ballpark, Ebbetts Field. But Duke was a great outfielder.” — former teammate Don Zimmer.
“Duke was just a great friend. A great ballplayer. He was one of my favorites growing up. He joined the Giants for a short time, so we were teammates briefly. He’s just a first-class guy, that’s all. A great power hitter and center fielder. Mays, Mantle and Snider, in New York people used to compare the three.” — Hall of Famer Willie McCovey.
“We went through the fire together, trying to make the team and stick, the five National League championships and the World Series in New York, and I’ll tell you that Duke was a class act.” — former teammate Carl Erskine.
“In 1958, we opened with the Dodgers. One of my biggest thrills of my career when I came to first base, the opening game, he said to me, ‘Orlando, good luck, good luck.’ He was one of my idols. I almost fainted. We took batting practice first, I came out to look for Duke Snider. I loved Duke Snider. That was one of the biggest thrills of my life and we became very good friends — a great ballplayer and great friend.” — Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda.
“He was a wonderful partner and taught me a lot about the game — and fans as well, because he had this great ability to recall so many situations in great detail. Listeners loved the Duke, and he’ll be missed greatly.” — Marlins play-by-play man Dave Van Horne, who was Snider’s broadcast partner for 15 years with the Montreal Expos.
“There was no one classier or more easy going than Duke Snider. Above it all, he was a fan favorite for his style of play, personality, accessibility, and fondness for playing stickball with kids in the streets of Brooklyn.” — Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson.
“Along with hundreds of thousands of other kids growing up in Brooklyn, Duke Snider was one of my idols. He really was one of us. As a 21-year-old rookie, he lived on my block and often would join us in games of stickball on his way home from his day job as the Dodgers center fielder. … With news of his passing, I really stop and think, ‘Where have all the years gone?'” — White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.
“My dad was born in Brooklyn and was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan. He would always tell stories of Duke Snider and then I had a chance to read ‘Boys of Summer’ when I was growing up, and he was always the epitome of class and grace.” — Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg.
“He was the epitome of class and I knew all about his career, the competition in New York between he and Mantle and Mays. He was just a guy who carried himself extremely well, was almost completely devoid of ego. If you met him you would never had any idea that he carved out the kind of career for himself that he did.” — Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman.