Edwin Donald ''Duke'' Snider (September 19 1926 February 27 2011) nicknamed ''The Silver Fox'' and ''The Duke of Flatbush'' was a Major League Baseball center fielder and left-handed batter who played for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers (1947 62) New York Mets (1963) and San Francisco Giants (1964). Snider was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980. In 1949 Snider came into his own hitting 23 home runs with 92 runs batted in helping the Dodgers into the World Series. Snider also saw his average rise from .244 to .292. A more mature Snider became the ''trigger man'' in a power-laden lineup which boasted players Jackie Robinson Pee Wee Reese Gil Hodges Billy Cox Roy Campanella Carl Erskine Preacher Roe Carl Furillo Clem Labine and Joe Black. Often compared with two other New York center fielders fellow Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays he was the reigning ''Duke'' of Flatbush. In 1950 he hit .321. But when his average slipped to .277 in 1951 off 44 points from his previous mark Snider caught the brunt of the sports page blame when the Dodgers squandered a 13 game August lead and finished second to the Giants after Bobby Thomson's ''Shot Heard 'Round the World''. Snider recalls ''I went to Walter OMalley and told him I couldnt take the pressureDuke says. I told him I traded just as soon be traded. I told him I figured I could do the Dodgers no good.Of course the trade did not happen. Usually batting third in the line-up Snider established some impressive offensive numbers: he hit 40 or more home runs in five consecutive seasons (1953 57) and between 1953-1956 averaged 42 home runs 124 RBI 123 runs and a .320 batting average. He led the National league in runs scored home runs and RBIs in separate seasons and appeared in six post-seasons with the Dodgers (1949 1952 53 1955 56 1959) facing the New York Yankees in the first five and the Chicago White Sox in the last. The Dodgers won the World Series in 1955 and in 1959. Snider's career numbers declined when the team moved to Los Angeles in 1958. Coupled with an aching knee and a 440-foot right field fence at the cavernous Coliseum Snider hit only 15 home runs in 1958. However he had one last hurrah in 1959 as he helped the Dodgers win their first World Series in Los Angeles. Duke rebounded that year to hit .308 with 25 home runs and 88 RBI in 400 at bats while platooning in center field with Don Demeter. Injuries and age would eventually play a role in reducing Snider to part-time status by 1961. In 1962 when the Dodgers led the NL for most of the season (only to find themselves tied with the hated Giants at the season's end) it was Snider and third-base coach Leo Durocher who reportedly pleaded with Manager Walter Alston to bring in future Hall of Fame pitcher (and Cy Young award winner that year) Don Drysdale in the ninth inning of the third and deciding play-off game. Instead Alston brought in Stan Williams to relieve a tiring Eddie Roebuck. A 4-2 lead turned into a 6-4 loss as the Giants rallied to win the pennant. Snider subsequently was sold to the New York Mets. It is said that Drysdale his roommate broke down and cried when he got the news of Snider's departure. When Snider joined the Mets he discovered that his familiar number 4 was being worn by Charlie Neal who refused to give it up. So Snider wore number 11 during the first half of the season then switched back to 4 after Neal was traded. He proved to be a sentimental favorite among former Dodger fans who now rooted for the Mets. But after one season Snider asked to be traded to a contending team. Snider was sold to the San Francisco Giants on Opening Day in 1964. Knowing that he had no chance of wearing number 4 which had been worn by Mel Ott and retired by the Giants Snider took number 28. He retired at the end of that season. In Snider's 18-year career he batted .295 with 407 home runs and 1333 RBI in 2143 games. 1955 Most Valuable Player balloting controversy Snider finished second to teammate Roy Campanella in the 1955 Most Valuable Player balloting conducted by the Baseball Writers Association of America by just five points 226-221 with each man receiving eight first place votes. A widely believed story summarized in an article by columnist Tracy Ringolsby holds that a hospitalized writer from Philadelphia had turned in a ballot with Campanella listed as his first place and fifth place vote. It was assumed that the writer had meant to write Snider's name into one of those slots. Unable to get a clarification from the ill writer the BBWAA after considering disallowing the ballot decided to accept it count the first place vote for Campanella and count the fifth place vote as though it were left blank. Had the ballot been disallowed the vote would have been won by Snider 221-212. Had Snider gotten that now-blank fifth place vote the final vote would have favored Snider 227-226. Investigative reporting by Joe Posnanski however has suggested that this story is not entirely true. Instead Posnanski writes that there was a writer who did leave Snider off his ballot and write in Campanella's name twice but it was in first and sixth positions not first and fifth. Had Snider received the sixth place vote the final tally would have created a tie not a win for Snider. Additionally the position was not discarded''everyone lower on the ballot was moved up a spot and the writer and pitcher Jack Meyer was inserted at the bottom with a 10th place vote. Snider did however win the Sporting News National League Player of the Year Award for 1955 and the Sid Mercer Award emblematic of his selection by the New York branch of the BBWAA as the National League's best player of 1955.