Gil Hodges on Golden Days Era Hall of Fame Committee

The Baseball Hall of Fame announced Gil Hodges is among 10 players on the Golden Days Era committee to be considered for enshrinement. As much as his legions of devoted fans would finally like to see this injustice finally rectified, the odds are it won’t happen.

It really pained me to write that last sentence. I am among those fans who think the Hall is not complete without Hodges. But this is nothing new, and the last time he was considered, he got the dreaded “fewer than three votes.” Why would that change this year?

The only hope is that the committee which will decide Hodges’s Hall of Fame fate is filled with former Mets and/or Dodgers and New York baseball writers who might be sympathetic to a Hodges candidacy. That 16-member committee, which is traditionally made up of Hall of Fame players, baseball executives and media members, will be announced later. But let’s face it, Hodges last played in a game in 1963, and last managed in 1971 before his tragic death at age 47 from a heart attack during Spring Training in 1972. That is a really long time ago; very few of those committee members will likely have a personal memory of Hodges. And that hurts his case, unfair as it may be.

This is one of those instances where I would be thrilled to be wrong. Hodges has always been one of my heroes. As a kid, I bowled at his bowling alley in Brooklyn, spending a lot of time staring at the trophy case near the entrance. I remember the special report on Channel 9 announcing his death and how sad I was. Gil Hodges absolutely, positively belongs in the Hall of Fame — his managing career puts his arguably borderline playing career over the top. But I’m just not getting my hopes up; I don’t want to feel that sadness again.

3 thoughts on “Gil Hodges on Golden Days Era Hall of Fame Committee

  • November 12, 2021 at 12:52 am

    Gil’s widow is still alive and very old. And it would be wonderful if she could experience his election to the hall before she gets to meet him in another plane. I used to walk by their house on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, midwood section as a kid. My elementary school was eventually named after him.

  • December 3, 2021 at 3:53 pm

    Hodges’s stats were solid but the intangible factors (quiet leadership and consistent play over several seasons) boosted the club. Both Duke Snider and Pee Wee Reese were adamant that Hodges should be in the Hall. Jackie Robinson was overwhelmed with grief at Hodges’s funeral, deeming him one of his true supporters on the team. Tom Seaver, as one of his players, thought Hodges should get in for how he managed the ‘69 Mets. I live in LA now and I’m shocked the Dodgers haven’t even retired his number, given the key role he played in their first 2 world championships of ‘55 and ‘59.

  • December 5, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    He got in😢🥳. Well deserved and long overdue.

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