Preface: My dad passed on January 1st of 2013. He was a Die Hard Brooklyn Dodger fan and an even bigger Gil Hodges fan. We would always talk baseball and one of the topics that came up was why is Gil not in the MLB Hall of Fame. This sparked me to ask him to write a piece for my other blog The Crazy Mets Fan. He did this in May 2011. Below is that post.
For an old Brooklyn Dodgers fan, I rooted for “Them Bums” with all their ups and downs. When they moved to Los Angles, I was heartbroken.
My favorite “Bum” was a man named Gil, #14. With his passing in 1972 I felt a great loss. It was a loss even greater than all those losses to the NY Yankees.
My biggest question today is why is Gil not a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame? Why has the Baseball Writers Association of American not recognized Gil’s contribution, not only to the game but also his quality as a person? He was a member of the US Marines and was awarded a Bronze Star for his bravery in service during WW II. Some of his accomplishments during his playing days are as follows:
- At the end of the 1962 season he was the all-time leading right hand homerun hitter in the National League.
- He is the 14th all-time homerun hitter compared to every player from 1914-1963. He hit more homeruns than Yogi Berra, Ralph Kiner and Joe DiMaggio.
- During the period 1940 to 1960 he was among the top 10 players in home runs. The 10 were M. Mantle, T. Williams, E. Mathews, S. Musial, D. Snider, R. Kiner, J. DiMaggio, J. Mize, Y. Berra and Gil. Gil is the only one not in the Hall of Fame.
- He won the first three Golden Gloves for a 1st Baseman and was selected to the All Star team for 8 years.
- He hit 4 home runs in a single game. And 14 grand slams in his career.
- As manager he guided The NY Mets to win the 1969 World Series, which was the all-time biggest surprise in the history of the World Series.
I could go on and on with his accomplishments but in conclusion, it stated in the requirements for selection into the Hall of Fame that all potential members should be chosen based upon the following:
If you look in my dictionary you will find a picture of Gil Hodges associated with all those qualities.
In closing I ask the Baseball Writers Association committee to look at NSE Films presentation of “Gil Hodges The Quiet Man” as seen on MSG Network. It might help them to do the right thing!
“Gil Hodges” to “The Baseball Hall of Fame”
The time is NOW!
Written by: Ray Gruenfelder, Sr.