“Gil Hodges was the core of the Brooklyn Dodgers.”
Gil Hodges played in the Major Leagues for more than 15 years, mainly for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Hodges also managed in the Major Leagues for nine years with the Washington Senators and the New York Mets. Gil Hodges was an eight-time All-Star. Hodges won the Gold Glove for fielding excellence at 1B for three years (1957-59 – first three years of the Award). Gil Hodges belted 370 home runs and played on two World Championship teams (1955, 1959). Hodges also managed a World Series winner – the miracle Mets of 1969.
Gil Hodges was a terrific ballplayer. The gentleman from Southwest Indiana was beloved by Brooklyn Dodger fans. Hodges slumped during the 1952 World Series and his struggles continued early in the 1953 season; however, Dodger fans stood by him. In fact, Father Herbert Redmond of St. Francis Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn, on a hot Sunday early in the 1953 season said, “Ir’s too hot for a sermon. Keep the commandments and say a prayer for Gil Hodges.” Hodges started hitting and had a great year. He batted .302 with 31 homers and 122 RBI. The argument made for inducting Gil Hodges into the Hall of Fame is a valid one. He was a fine hitter who had power, and he was an excellent fielding first baseman. In fact, teammate Pee Wee Reese said, “Gil Hodges hands are so large, the only reason he wears a glove is because it is fashionable.” Hodges would have won many more Gold Gloves had the award been started before 1957. Yes, Gil Hodges never won an MVP Award, but there are many Hall of Famers who never won one. In addition to his accomplishments as a player, Gil Hodges quiet but firm leadership helped guide the Mets to a World Series title. Let’s remember what Gil’s teammate, Hall of Famer Roy Campanella, said about him, “Gil Hodges was a Hall of Fame person.”