Russell Henry Snyder
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 190 lb.
Nineteen year old Russ Snyder signed as an amateur free agent with the New York Yankees before the 1953 Season. A left hand hitter who attended the University of Nebraska, he began pro ball in the Yankees organization in 1953 hitting an astounding .432 for the McAlester Rockets of the Sooner State League with 240 base hits in 556 at-bats. One would think that this opening performance would get Russ a quick look at the "Show" but it took six more years in the bushes before he got inside a major league park.
The Yankees traded Russ to the Kansas City Athletics after the '58 season and he first came up with the Athletics in 1959 after hitting .336 for the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League. He then hit .313 in 73 games for the [1959 Athletics|[A]]'s. Snyder was traded to the Baltimore Orioles after one more year with the Athletics and from 1961 to 1967 was a semi-regular in the Orioles outfield hitting .305 in 1962 and .306 for the 1966 World Champions. Russ appeared in 3 games in the World Series, had one base hit and one RBI to help his club in the series.
He closed out his twelve year major league career with a lifetime .271 average in 1,365 games, after wearing the uniforms of the White Sox, Indians and Brewers in his last three seasons. Russ had spent seven seasons (1953-59) in the minors where he hit for a .316 average in 761 games. Snyder had played an uninterrupted 18 consecutive years of professional baseball, a feat in itself. He started at age 19 in 1953 and finished at age 36 in 1970.
In an interview for Oldtyme Baseball News he recalled a pair of unique incidents in his career. "In 1962 in Kansas City I hit safely twice in the same inning as a pinch hitter. I led off the inning and we hit around. In a game in Washington I scored from second on a sacrifice fly. Boog Powell hit a long fly at Griffith Stadium which had a very deep center field. I tagged up to go from second to third, and they didn't exactly hustle the ball back in and the third base coach waved me in. But the highlight of my career was playing in the World Series when we swept the Dodgers in four straight."
Snyder returned home to Nelson, Nebraska, after he left baseball and operated a combination tavern and steak house for a decade before becoming a technician for the Government Soil Conversation Office.