Sunday, December 16, 2012

1951 Topps Red Back #31 - Gil Hodges

Dodger legend Gil Hodges (b. 1924 - d. 1972) played in the majors from 1943, 1947 to 1963 for the Dodgers (Brooklyn and LA) and Mets.  He had 1,921 hits, 370 home runs and a .273 batting average.  He was an 8-time All Star and 3-time Gold Glove winner.  He finished as high as 7th in the NL MVP Award voting (1957).  Hodges won the World Series with the 1955 and 1959 Dodgers as a player and also won in 1969 with the Mets as a manager.

Hodges was a manager for the Senators from 1963 to 1967 and for the Mets from 1968 to 1971.  His career managerial record was 660-753 (.467).

Hodges suffered a massive heart attack after playing golf with a few of his coaches on April 2, 1972.  He was among several former Dodger greats who were felled by tragedy early in life (Roy Campanella was confined to a wheelchair after a car accident and Jackie Robinson died of a heart attack a mere 6 months after Hodges died).

He appeared on 15 consecutive Hall of Fame ballots but never received more than 63% of the required 75% of votes to get in.  All signs point to Hodges getting enshrined sooner than later.  His numbers alone do not warrant inclusion, but if you also factor in the fact that he was the core of those legendary 1950s Dodger teams, I think that gives him the extra boost to get in.

Deceased: 25
Manager: 5
Post a Comment