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 more than any other player. 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. Fans never booed the beloved home run hitter from Indiana who married a Brooklyn girl and settled in their borough, and they famously prayed for him when he slumped.
Dutifully following the Dodgers to Los Angeles in 1958, Hodges longed to return to New York City. He joined the original Mets team in 1962, and he finished his playing career with them. In 1968, he took over the manager’s spot on their bench. Under his steady hand, the Mets went from a joke to World Champions in 1969—the Miracle Mets.
Yet behind his stoic demeanor lay a man prone to anxiety and worry. Hodges was scarred by combat on Tinian and Okinawa during World War II, and his inner turmoil was exacerbated by tight pennant races and excruciating defeats. 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. An exciting biography that paints a portrait of an amazing era of baseball as much as it does an admirable player, Gil Hodges is sure to please fans of America’s pastime.
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