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April  20

Double Header Of Baseball Greats

Yankees060417_198 Snider_duke_2_1

Dave Kaplan, Director at the Yogi Berra Museum, and our favorite source of baseball factoids, is working his mojo for Baristaville Baseball fans. He's bringing a couple of baseball legends in this weekend for book signings and discussions: Duke Snider and Ron Blomberg.

"When I called Duke in California where he lives, he said he'd heard such great things about the Museum from guys like Don Zimmer and Sandy Koufax and was eager to visit." Kaplan also told us  "Duke Snider, one of the most famous baseball players of all time, was immortalized in the Terry Cashman song, 'Willie, Mickey and the Duke'. Duke Snider's real name is Edwin, but was given the nickname "Duke" by his hard-driving father because of his regal bearing at age 5.  He later became known as the Duke of Flatbush. Although Yogi and Duke, were great rivals when the Yankees played the Dodgers in the 1950s, now they are good friends, and will probably get together for dinner  in Montclair."

Ron "Boomer" Blomberg is flying in from Atlanta, where baseball's first "DH" - designated hitter - still enjoys a bit of cult celebrity.  He says, "I've been a "DH" my whole life: Designated Hebrew. He's taking a break in Baristaville from a loaded schedule of motivational speaking, fantasy camps and (now's your chance) scouting for the Yankees.

  • Duke Snider is at the Yogi Berra Museum to sign copies of his new book, “Few and Chosen: Defining Dodger Greatness Across the Eras.”   3 p.m, Saturday, April 22.
  • Former Yankee Ron Blomberg will discuss his quirky experiences during the 1970s  as the team’s “Great Jewish Hope”. He'll be signing copies of his new autobiography, “Designated Hebrew,” share a few laughs, then be off in search of Baristaville's best bagel with a schmear.   2 p.m., Sunday, April 23.   973-655-2378.
  • Both events are free if you purchase a book. Otherwise, $6 adults/$4 little leaguers.

April 20, 2006 in Sports | Permalink


Great, but can he bring back the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodger?

Those were the days my friend!

Posted by: Franklin | Apr 20, 2006 3:49:39 PM

The stop by both players at the Berra Museum is probably incidental to the Baseball Autograph Collectors Convention at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Secaucus on Sunday.

Incidentally, as a young boy in 1947 I got an autograph book filled with the authographs of ALL the players and coaches on the Championship Brooklyn Dodger Team. Duke Snider was one of the signers. That was the first season of Jackie Robinson in the major league and his autograph is one of the most valuable in the collection. Pee Wee Reese, Robinson's protector, Gil Hodges, Pete Reiser, Eddie Stanky etc. etc etc. I have been planning to put the autograph book up for sale on Ebay, but I have been told that may not be the best place to get its true value.

Posted by: Byron | Apr 20, 2006 4:45:38 PM

Franklin, are you actually old enough to remember the Brooklyn Dodgers?

I saw a whole exhibit about them last year at the Brooklyn Museum (it was the 50th anniversary of their big win!) Interesting stuff.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Apr 20, 2006 4:56:13 PM

In my formative boyhood, Miss Martta, a highlight of "all" the local summer rec programs (Rutherford, ER, Passaic, Woodridge, Clifton) was usually bus trips each summer to, respectively, Yankees, Giants and Dodgers games. So we went. Bleacher seats (only now do I understand that the idea was to be "bleached" by the unforgiving August sun) but lots of fun. And you could fight in the stands with the guys from the other towns.

You could also get free Dodgers tix with a certain number of lids from Breyers ice cream containers, the little ones that were half chocolate-half vanilla.

Posted by: cathar | Apr 20, 2006 6:18:16 PM

These guys may have impressed you East Coast folk, but where I come from, Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Red Schoendienst and Curt Flood were the real deal.

Posted by: crank | Apr 20, 2006 6:49:24 PM

No doubt the Cardinals you mention are all time greats; Their place in baseball lore is not in question. Most folks would agree that the Duke was in their class, albeit from a slightly earlier era (Musial excluded). Bloomberg's claim to fame would be his designation as the first Yankee DH, but his career does not measure up to any of the Cardinals you mention or Snider. His appearance though, is noteworthy for collectors.

Gibson's '68 season, with a 1.12 ERA is probably as incredible a stat as a pitcher can have. His MVP of the Series in1967, with 3 WS wins, is a Hall of Fame Gem!

Posted by: Lee Blair | Apr 20, 2006 7:40:52 PM

I would like a date, somewhere in B-ville, with the ready for summer personal training girl. She's got that slabs of abs thing goin' on.

Posted by: kemby | Apr 20, 2006 7:46:20 PM

Duke Snider might have dinner with Yogi in Montclair? Like I could see them at Thai Chef?Duke was my childhood hero!
And whaddya mean, bring back the Brooklyn Dodgers? They never left. They're just on an extended road trip.
Anyone here save popsicle wrappers for seats in the bleachers at Ebbets Field?
When the Dodgers left Brooklyn it was a loss of innocence, the first for many of us. It still makes me angry, and very sad.

Posted by: trollhater | Apr 20, 2006 9:01:15 PM

like you, I wax nostalgic for baseball the way it oughta be. I grew up in new england idolizing carl yaz. we could almost be friend if you are a baseball junkie.
My favorite stat of all time...jim palmer won 265 games and NEVER gave up a grand slam.

Posted by: Iceman | Apr 20, 2006 9:13:33 PM

Never made it to Ebbets. Growing up in N.California, Duke was also my childhood hero BEFORE his move west.Yogi is my grownup hero. Both are fascinating to listen to on any subject.

Posted by: Geoff | Apr 20, 2006 11:10:06 PM

How about this: I loved, and rooted for, Duke Snider, and hated his rivals, Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays (all slugging center fielders). Yet I secretly knew Duke was not the best player in that benighted trio. I still won't admit he wasn't the best, even though I know it's true.
Yes, Iceman, it was "baseball the way it oughta be." And I think when the Dodgers left it was the first time a generation of us experienced a loss -- from forces related to, of all things, money -- and we knew, no matter what, things would never be the same again.
An important lesson, to be sure, but it could have waited a few years.

Posted by: trollhater | Apr 21, 2006 8:40:14 AM

Actually I dug the Duke too - how could you not, no matter who your home team was?

Posted by: crank | Apr 21, 2006 9:19:18 AM

My 88 year old uncle tells me that as a young man -- maybe in about the early 1940's -- he took a boat from Virginia up to New York, got on the subway and went out to Ebbet's field just to see the Dodger's play. Hung out in the city for another day (snagged a date with a model), and came back home.

Posted by: skipwith | Apr 21, 2006 9:29:11 AM

Correction: Duke Snider was not one of the signers in my 1947 autograph book of the entire Dodgers team, he did not come up until a few years later. Pete Reiser was the center fielder in the 1947 National League Champion team.

Posted by: Byron | Apr 21, 2006 11:33:14 AM

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