The late, great former Mets manager Gil Hodges once again is on the Golden Era Hall of Fame ballot released on Thursday. Now let’s get to work to get him the enshrinement he so richly deserves.
Hodges competition this year are Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Bob Howsam, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce, Luis Tiant and Maury Wills. A candidate must get 75% of the vote, or 12 votes from the 16-member committee.
In 2011 Ron Santo was voted in. Kaat finished second with 10 votes, followed by Hodges and Minoso with nine.
Allen is appearing on this ballot for the first time and he could be the biggest threat to Hodges candidacy. Allen is often mentioned as the best player not in the Hall of Fame. He was a feared hitter in his day; a six-time All Star and winner of the Rookie of the Year and MVP awards. However, Hodges has more home runs and RBIs — 370/1274 to Allen’s 351/1119. But Hodges needed 2071 games to compile his similar numbers while Allen played in only 1749. He also hit .292 to Hodges’s .273.
But Gil Hodges has the intangible of being a World Series winning manager. He was also one of the best defensive first baseman to ever play the game. And while people speak of Hodges with reverence, Allen was apparently something of a malcontent.
Not to denigrate Allen — he was a fine ballplayer. But Gil Hodges was one of the leaders of those legendary Dodgers teams, as well as THE leader of the 1969 Mets. The Hodges family has waited long enough for this overdue honor.