Johnny is perhaps best remembered for being named the Most Valuable Player of the 1955 World Series, pitching a shutout in Game 7 against the New York Yankees to help bring the Dodgers their first World Series title. He later led the National League in earned run average and shutouts in 1957, and in winning percentage in 1961.
From 1947 to 1956, Brooklyn ruled the National League, winning 6 of 10 pennants. They benefited greatly from a large network of minor league teams created by Branch Rickey in the early 40’s. It is here when the system called the “Dodger Way” of teaching fundamentals took root. From that large network of teams, a number of young talented players began to blossom at the same time: Snider, Gil Hodges, Carl Erskine, Ralph Branca, Clem Labine, Carl Furillo, Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, Joe Black and Jim Gilliam. Most have been enshrined in Roger Kahn’s classic book, The Boys of Summer. By 1949, Snider, as he matured, became the triggerman in a power-laden lineup which boasted the likes of Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Hodges, Campanella and Furillo. Often compared favorably with two other New York center fielders, fellow Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays, he was the reigning “Duke” of Flatbush. Usually batting third in the line-up, Snider put up some impressive offensive numbers: He hit 40 or more home runs in five consecutive seasons (1953–57), and averaged 42 home runs, 124 RBI, 123 runs and a .320 batting average between 1953-1956. He led the league in runs scored, home runs and RBIs in separate seasons. He 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 final. The Dodgers won the World Series in 1955 and in 1959.