Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mets Hall Of Fame: No. 14- Gil Hodges (and his place in the Baseball Hall Of Fame)



In 1968 the Mets were turning the corner. To where?
Who knew?
Of all the things that happened in '68 one thing stood out.
The New York Mets had a new manager.
Gil Hodges had come home again.















On November 27, 1967 Bill Denehy (the other guy on Tom Seavers real 1967 Topps rookie card) was traded to the Washington Senators for their manager of over four years,
Gil Hodges.








Hodges had been an original 1962 Met and hit the very first home run in franchise history. He was acquired through the expansion draft in 1962. Even though his Met playing days were riddled with injuries and slowed by bum knees, Hodges played on in New York and helped in the launch of the new N.L. team just by being there.

He only played in 54 games in '62 and smacked 9 home runs. A little over a week into the 1963 season, when the Mets (in effect) traded Gil to the Washington Senators on May 22, 1963 for Jimmy Piersall, he retired from playing to focus more on managing. I'll get back to his managing career in part two of this post.

Playing wise he was all done by then and he knew it. But consider this: Hodges was in tenth place on the all-time home run list with 370, second (behind Jimmy Foxx) in home runs in the history of the game by a right handed hitter at that time. First in the National League in homers by a right hander.
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In this rare instance I will go back in time to before the Mets existed with the 1955 Fantazy Gil Hodges.




                      
                       And let me run that by you again.

When Gil left the game to manage he was in 10th place on the all-time home run list, 2nd in home runs by a right handed hitter in the history of the game!

In 1960 he broke Ralph Kiner's NL record for right-handed hitters of 351 career home runs. 
He was 1st in the N.L. in home runs by a right handed hitter when he retired!

How could he not be in the Hall Of Fame! Just for that fact alone.
I'll also add that for seven seasons in a row he drove in at least 100 runs. He hit 14 grand slams and had 1,274 RBI. He played on seven World Series teams. His 16-year career was delayed by two years of World War II combat as a Marine.

I did not know that when he retired he was in that position. That's very impressive. Things have changed drastically since then on that all time home run list. Gil is now 73rd. Time moves on. New generations of players move up the list. People forget.

Don't let them forget where Hodges was when he stopped playing. He was 10th in all time home runs in 1963. 2nd in home runs by a right hander in MLB history. 1st in N.L. history. I believe this should mean something.

I'll repeat this a hundred times to drive it home. It's significant. Because the way baseball began rolling on through time, and has rolled on into the 21st century, such records have been broken at an amazing pace exponentially.




When past players are reviewed for Hall Of Fame consideration they should always take into account, by large part, where the player was in the game at the time he played.






Come on! Put Gil Hodges where he belongs, in the Baseball Hall Of Fame!

I found this youtube video on Bill Hall's
Gil Hodges Belongs In the Baseball Hall of Fame facebook page.
It's a Vitalis commercial from 1969.
It is priceless and a classic and I must add it to this post.
I'm always surprised when I hear Gil's voice. I guess as a kid I didn't hear him talk much.


Image above is from The Left Field Pavilion (thelfp.com)

Please read this great article, in which Gil Hodges Jr. says:
"To me, in all honesty, it's really beyond irrelevant. Everybody treats him like he is in the Hall."
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Please follow the link above to add your name. 
You have to jump through a hoop- an email response to verify, but it's worth it. You are not required to donate at the end, but you can if you wish. 
Please help get Gil Hodges in the Hall Of Fame. 
This needs a push from us Mets fans to gain momentum.



If you're a little leery please check out this facebook page 
by Ronald G. Liebman and Bill Hall, 
who have mounted this drive to get Gil in. This is a very noble effort and they need our help.

Gil Hodges Belongs In the Baseball Hall of Fame facebook page


This post was first published  Oct 7, 2013. 
I wish I had part two of my Gil series ready to promote the petition, but it has not yet been started. I'll add this link to that too. Hey, maybe part two will be about how us Mets fans got Gil into the Hall! 

I will keep this post at the top until I release the '73 NLCS game 2 post (scheduled for today but bumped until the weekend). At that time this will be returned to the 1960's section of the project.

Please sign.
Get Gil in the Hall!!!
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This post was first published  Oct 7, 2013. It has been reformatted. 4 cards below have updated improvements. The 2 cards above have appeared elsewhere in this blog.



2 comments:

  1. The Hodges cards are fantastic, especially that 1970 one. I also really like that 1963 special card and I'm a little surprised that Topps didn't get that done. Perhaps they didn't have the lead time necessary. But it's great that we can go back and correct these mistakes 50-plus years later!

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  2. I'm always amazed at the things that Topps didn't do. Like not having a card for Willie Mays in '74 for his 1973 season. Topps did that a lot with players in those days. It's like they were looking for reasons NOT to make a card. I still don't understand that.

    Thanks for the kind words and for stopping by Brian. LETS GO METS IN 2014! (& 2015, 2016,..etc.)

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