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Sunday, April 3, 2011
1955 Topps #187 - Gil Hodges
Dodger legend Gil Hodges (b. 1924 - d. 1972) played in the majors from 1943, 1947-1963 for the Dodgers and Mets. He amassed 1,921 hits, 370 home runs and a .273 batting average. He ranks second all-time to Duke Snider for most home runs in Dodger franchise history. He ranks 9th all-time in hits for the Dodgers as well. He barely missed election to the Hall of Fame, spending the maximum allowed 15 years on the ballot, reaching a vote total as high as 63.4% in his last year on the ballot (1983). He was an All Star from 1949-1955 and 1957. He won the World Series with the Dodgers in 1955 and 1959.
He was selected in the expansion draft that made him one of the original New York Mets. He also his the first home run in Mets history. Hodges became a manager in 1963 for the Washington Senators. He was manager in Washington from 1963 to 1967, then became the manager of the Mets from 1968 to 1971. He won the World Series with the 'Miracle Mets' in 1969 against the heavily favored Orioles.
On April 2, 1972, while playing golf with other members of the Mets coaching staff, Hodges died of a heart attack. He was succeeded as manager of the Mets by Yogi Berra. He had a career record of 660-753 as a manager.