Due to his achievements as a player and manager, as well as his sterling character, Gil Hodges deserves to be in the Hall of Fame as much as any player honored by the institution. A towering figure during the Golden Era of the 1950s, Hodges was the Brooklyn Dodgers’ powerful first baseman who, alongside Jackie Robinson, helped drive his team to six pennants and a thrilling World Series victory in 1955.
Dutifully following the Dodgers to Los Angeles in 1958, Hodges longed to return to New York City, and in 1962, joined the original Mets. He took over the manager’s spot on their bench in 1968 and transformed the team from a joke to World Champions in 1969—the Miracle Mets. Yet behind his stoic demeanor lay a man prone to anxiety and scarred by combat during World War II. His sudden death in 1972 shocked his friends and family and left a void in the hearts of baseball fans everywhere.
Acclaimed authors Tom Clavin and Danny Peary delve into one of baseball’s most overlooked stars, shedding light on a fascinating life and career that even his most ardent fans never knew.