As a kid growing up in Albany, Bob Snyder dreamed of playing shortstop for the Dodgers … the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was a Little League all-star who would letter in baseball and basketball in high school, where he was class president for four years. But by the time he was in college, breaking balls were nastier and — apparently — his bat, slower. What to do? Why not write about those who could really play the game … any game!
At Syracuse University, his Daily Orange column — ‘Snyde’ Remarks — stayed with him his entire career. He was assistant to Val Pinchbeck Jr. in SU’s sports information office the year Ernie Davis won the Heisman and Orange hoops had the nation’s longest losing streak.
He bet fraternity brothers he could bowl 50 games, non-stop, exceeding an agreed-upon minimum, and closed with a 587 triple. After 8 ½ hours, he pocketed $50 from his cheap frat brothers, then watched SU lose by 35 to St. John’s at the War Memorial.
Following Army duty in Korea (1/Lt., Inf.), he joined the Syracuse Newspapers in 1965. SU basketball and Chiefs baseball were his primary beats. As a columnist, he wrote about everything from the ’69 Miracle Mets to SU’s first Final Four (’75), from The Masters (three times) and Ryder Cup to the Olympics (’80 Miracle on Ice).
Facing an aging Bob Feller in baseball, he fanned. Playing pool against Minnesota Fats, it was Fats who ran the table. A blindfolded ‘Snydes’ teed it up with a sightless golfer; guess who won! And he’s still a high-handicapper at Radisson Greens, where he twice was board chairman. But as Herald Amateur tournament director, ‘Snydes’ grew the event into the largest of its kind in the country.
He’s written for Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, Street & Smith’s Baseball (30 years), GamePlan, Basketball Weekly, Central NY Sports Magazine, etc. Snyder authored two books, the most recent being ‘Syracuse Basketball: A Century of Memories’ (’99). For 17 years, he co-hosted an SU/Big East postgame TV show on Fox (‘SportsRapp’/’SU Overtime’). For three seasons, he was an analyst on the SU basketball radio network.
A Meals on Wheels volunteer, Snyder received the ECAC Media Award for outstanding coverage of Eastern intercollegiate athletics (’85), Blind Men & Criers’ Ed Kearney Award (’98), Chiefs’ Great Guy Award (’99), Syracuse Press Club Career Achievement Award (’05) and a number of AP and NY Publishers Association awards.
Only the fifth print journalist so honored, we welcome Bob Snyder into the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame, Class of 2014.