Yankees

By The Numbers: Forgotten Royalty: The Duke Of Flatbush

View Comments
Duke Snider plays for the Brooklyn Dodgers - File / Photo: AP

(credit: AP Photo, file)

Mets Central
Shop for Mets Gear
Buy Mets Tickets

MLB Scoreboard
MLB Standings
Team STATS
Team Schedule
Team Roster
Team Injuries

NEW YORK SPORTS HEADLINES

Get our weekday morning briefs direct from the WFAN newsroom
Sign Up
Yankees Central
Shop for Yankees Gear
Buy Yankees Tickets

MLB Scoreboard
MLB Standings
Team STATS
Team Schedule
Team Roster
Team Injuries

By Father Gabe Costa
» More Columns

Much has been written about New York baseball during the eleven year period from 1947 through the 1957 season. In 1947, the Brooklyn Dodgers, also known as The Boys of Summer, unveiled a twenty year old rookie center fielder by the name of Edwin Snider, also known as The Duke. A few years later, both the New York Yankees and the New York Giants would follow suit with great young center fielders of their own: Mickey Mantle, dubbed The Commerce Comet, and Willie Mays, forever to be known as The Say Hey Kid.

Over that period, with the exception of 1948, at least one of the three aforementioned teams would play in the World Series. And in seven of those years, league champions from both leagues would come from New York, thus assuring that the Big Apple would house the world champions .

And the rivalrieshated rivalries…heated rivalries! Giants vs. Dodgers…Dodgers vs. Yankees…Yankees vs. Giants. Did Dodger fans really root for the Yankees to beat the Giants in the 1951 World Series!?

And the characters: Leo Durocher, Sal Maglie, Bobby Thomson, Yogi Berra, Ralph Branca, Casey Stengel…

And the classic ballparks: The Polo Grounds…Ebbets Field…The House That Ruth Built.

But the real arguments and debates revolved around the three young super-stars…Willie, Mickey and The Duke…and so, on street corners and in local bars, in schools and in factories, the fans would continually argue as to which centerfielder was the greatest.

No one had Willie’s flair…especially while losing his cap as he was tearing around the bases or running down long fly balls in the Polo Grounds! And neither of the other two would have Mays’ longevity nor approach his career totals regarding offensive statistics.

No one had Mantle’s pure speed or awesome power! And neither of the other two would win a Triple Crown nor be rated by many sabermetricians among the top five players ever during their “peak years”.

And the Duke of Flatbush, was just that: The Duke! And neither of the other two would string together five 40+ home run seasons. Snider would also wind up with more World Series home runs than any player who did not wear the Yankee Pinstripes.

Yet, once the dust is settled, Snider usually finishes third when compared to Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle.

So with the World Series coming up shortly, I thought it might be well to compare these three icons…to give Duke his due, so to speak, and to see how the three compared with one another when the pressure was greatest and “the money was on the line”.

We will use the following metrics in our comparison:

  • World Series Appeared In (WS)
  • World Series Games (G)
  • At Bats (AB)
  • Plate Appearances (PA)
  • Batting Average (BA)
  • Slugging Average (SLG)
  • On-Base-Plus-Slugging (OPS)
  • Runs (R)
  • Home Runs (HR)
  • Home Runs Per At Bat (HR/AB)
  • Runs Batted In (RBI)
  • Runs Batted In Per At Bat (RBI/AB)
  • Stolen Bases (SB)
  • Caught Stealing (CS)

Note that Mays also played in the Fall Classic for the San Francisco Giants (1962) and the New York Mets (1973) and Snider played in the World Series for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1959).

Mickey Mantle

Willie Mays

Duke Snider

WS

12

4

6

G

65

20

36

AB

230

71

133

PA

273

78

149

BA

.257

.239

.286

SLG

.535

.282

.594

OPS

.908

.589

.945

R

42

9

21

HR

18

0

11

HR/AB

.0738

.0000

.0827

RBI

40

6

26

RBI/AB

.1740

.0846

.1955

SB

3

2

1

CS

4

0

0

Kudos to the Duke…he was a great Series performer!

Note: This blog is dedicated to the world’s Number One Duke Snider fan: Dr. Charles Suffel, of Stevens Institute of Technology. Dr. Suffel is a Professor of mathematics and is the Dean of Graduate Academics.

Where do you rank the Duke of Flatbush? Let Costa know below…

View Comments