Hall of Fame not complete without New York great Gil Hodges

1 year ago 129

The countdown is connected again, and for the Hodges household of Brooklyn, truthful is the wait. There volition beryllium different gathering aboriginal adjacent period that volition find whether Gilbert Ray Hodges — who was calved successful Princeton, Ind., earlier becoming a prima successful Brooklyn and an icon successful Queens — volition beryllium elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

It is time. It is past time. It is really mode past time.

“To me, it doesn’t alteration much, honestly, if helium gets successful oregon helium doesn’t get in, due to the fact that everyone who knew my begetter knew what helium accomplished and they cognize helium belongs there,” Hodges’ daughter, Irene, told maine Saturday morning. “But helium is evidently truthful deserving of a spot there. It would mean truthful overmuch to truthful many.”

It would besides close a incorrect that has existed for acold excessively long. Hodges’ lack from Cooperstown is simply a achromatic people against the roster of greats the Hall is commissioned to honor.

Look, you tin surely reason that his playing career, arsenic large arsenic it was, was a borderline lawsuit for enshrinement. You tin reason that contempt managing the 1969 Mets — arguably the astir celebrated shot squad ever, inarguably the authors of the top shot communicative ever told — his clip arsenic a manager was excessively little to beryllium considered Hall-worthy.

Gil Hodges deed  370 homers successful  his 18-year career, mostly   with the Dodgers and was the manager   of the 1969 World Series Championship Mets.Gil Hodges deed 370 homers successful his 18-year career, mostly with the Dodgers and was the manager of the 1969 World Series Championship Mets.AP; Getty Images

But erstwhile you instrumentality the 2 of those things together?

If that isn’t worthy of a plaque successful Cooperstown … honestly, what is?

Hodges received much Hall of Fame votes than immoderate different subordinate to not gain induction via the modular pathway, the BBWAA, erstwhile helium was connected that ballot from 1969-83, 3,010 of them. In 15 years helium ne'er finished little than seventh, but ne'er received much than 63.4 percent, which helium received his past time. Several times, helium received much votes than anyone other connected assorted permutations of the Veterans Committee, but not the indispensable 75 percent.

“Some of those years,” Irene says, “have been particularly brutal.”

The past time, the Mets were truthful definite Hodges would marque it that they sent limousines to the Hodges location to marque definite they could propulsion a due solemnisation astatine Citi Field. Then the returns came back, the limos were turned around, and erstwhile much idiosyncratic had to explicate to Joan Hodges that her hubby had fallen abbreviated again.

Joan Hodges is 96 years aged now.

“Please,” she said Saturday, “tell everyone however honored we are by each the bully wishes and prayers we’ve heard.”

Here is the thing, too: There whitethorn ne'er beryllium a much due avenue for Hodges than now. The voting assemblage that volition see him successful aboriginal December comprises the “Golden Days Era,” specifically the years 1950 done 1969.

Think astir that. Those parameters are virtually custom-made for Hodges. In the decennary of the 1950s, Hodges deed 310 location runs — second-most successful each of shot to his Dodgers teammate, Duke Snider (326). He had 1,001 RBIs from 1950-59 — again, 2nd successful the full athletics to Snider (1,031). He won the archetypal 3 Gold Gloves for archetypal basemen, successful 1957, ’58 and ’59. He won 2 championships with the Dodgers, 1 successful Brooklyn (’55), 1 successful Los Angeles. (’59).

Hodges, by immoderate measure, was 1 of the preeminent players of the 1950s. His mean twelvemonth was .281/.369/.884, and helium had an OPS+ of 128, 31 homers and 100 RBI per year.

And the twelvemonth connected the close broadside of the hyphen? That’s 1969. And it is universally acknowledged the Miracle Mets would not person happened with immoderate different antheral astatine the helm.

“I cognize this: The antheral should beryllium successful the Hall of Fame,” said Ron Swoboda successful a 28-minute promotional movie done by the Dodgers and Catholic Athletes for Christ called “Soul of a Champion,” produced successful beforehand of the committee vote.

“From his clip arsenic a subordinate and what helium meant to the Dodgers and however they succeeded arsenic a team, and what helium did arsenic a manager … if you can’t harvester those things and enactment him wherever helium belongs successful the Hall of Fame? Shame connected you.”

It’s connected the Committee now, again, and the hold is connected for the family, again — arsenic good arsenic for anyone who understands that a Hall of Fame without Gil Hodges is not decently complete.

“So many, galore radical archer america however overmuch our begetter belongs successful the Hall,” Irene said. “We conscionable anticipation the voters tin agree.”

Vac’s Whacks

The Giants could spell a agelong mode toward changing the aggravated narratives astir them, adjacent temporarily, if they could play 60 minutes of implicit shot implicit successful MetLife Stadium connected Sunday afternoon.


On Tuesday, Julius Randle volition sojourn Earl Monroe New Renaissance Basketball School successful The Bronx, accompanied by the Pearl, to denote his “#30 for 3!” campaign. Randle volition donate $500 for each 3-pointer helium sinks this play to the school’s Literacy Intervention Remedial Program.

“I emotion Earl and what he’s doing,” Randle said. “We person to bash everything we tin to marque definite our young radical get each the assistance they request and it starts with reading.”

All 110 students volition beryllium successful attendance.


A blessed and heartfelt 81st day to Bill Basel, the archetypal manager I ever took to task successful the pages of Tarmac, mostly for not giving a batch of minutes to an overweight, undersized, guard/center hybrid named Vaccaro. All these years aboriginal I tin admit: He was right.


Citi Field’s parking tons were jammed with folks lugging play clubs erstwhile I was determination Friday. I presume they were each determination to play connected the impermanent people acceptable up there. And besides to interrogation for (and politely decline) the Mets’ President of Baseball Operations job.

Whack Back astatine Vac

Michael Keneski: Regarding Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, it took lone two-plus seasons present to person a legit statement that the Knicks and not the Pelicans ended up with the amended top-three prime successful the 2019 NBA Draft.

Vac: Zion needs to beryllium capable to enactment connected the level to marque it a just debate, due to the fact that you could reason fewer players person made the aggregate jumps of betterment implicit the people of 2 years arsenic Barrett has.


Dennis Smith: Eliminate some New York NFL teams from premier clip TV.

Vac: How astir 2 specified games successful 4 days this past week? That officially and virtually counts arsenic cruel and antithetic punishment.


@drschnip: Great determination by the Jets trading for Dr. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. Given our violative line, we request a aesculapian doc successful adjacent proximity to our quarterback.

@MikeVacc: If helium wasn’t available, I judge Dr. Hawkeye Pierce and Dr. Trapper John McIntyre were the adjacent men up, fixed their shot enactment successful the archetypal “MAS*H” movie.


Bill Maroney: Spot-on file connected Giants-Chiefs. Good teams find a mode to triumph successful the past 1:07. The Giants amusement up with nary timeouts and instrumentality 2 sacks. Elijhaa Penny has six carries this play and his squad has 2 wins — and he’s mouthing off?

Vac: Kansas City truly was begging to beryllium beaten that night. But arsenic the antheral erstwhile said: You can’t ever get what you want.