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Gil Hodges, Brooklyn favorite but unlucky Hall of Fame candidate, now on Cooperstown committee ballot

November 5, 2021 Associated Press
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Gil Hodges, a Brooklyn favorite, first with the Dodgers and then as manager of the Mets, is one of 10 men on the ballot of the Golden Days Era committee for the Baseball Hall of Fame, along with Roger Maris, Ken Boyer and Maury Wills, the Hall said Friday.

The committee considers players whose primary contributions were from 1950 to 1969.

No player in the history of the Baseball Hall of Fame has received as many votes without eventually being granted a plaque at Cooperstown, according to the Cooperstown Cred website.

The highest vote for Hodges, who died in 1972 after a heart attack, came in 1983, when he received 63.4 percent of the vote, but the Hall’s rules say that you need 75 percent.

Hodges was reportedly the only Dodger who was never booed at Ebbets Field. While he grew up in Indiana, he married Brooklyn native Joan Lombardi in 1948 and lived with her (and later their children) on Bedford Avenue between Avenues K and L until he died. The street is now named “Gil Hodges Way.”

Hodges joined the Dodgers in 1947, the same year as Jackie Robinson. In 1950, he became the first player since Lou Gehrig to hit four home runs in a game. The same year, he broke a National League record with 159 double plays. As a first baseman, he was an All-Star every year from 1949 to 1955, and again in 1957.

Gil Hodges, Jr., son of former New York Mets manager Gil Hodges, throws out the first pitch before the Mets home opener baseball game against the Washington Nationals Thursday, April 4, 2019, in New York. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

Hodges was instrumental in the 1955 World Series win by the team. In 1957, he set the National League record for grand slams, a record that was broken by Hank Aaron in 1974.

In 1968, was brought back to the Mets as manager, and in 1969 he led the Mets, which previously had never finished higher than ninth place in the league, to their first world championship.

The Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge between Brooklyn and Queens at night. MTA photo

The Marine Parkway Bridge between Southeast Brooklyn and the Rockaways was renamed the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge in 1978.

Separate Hall of Fame committees choose candidates from the pre-1950 era; the “Modern Baseball Era” of 1970 to 1987; and the “Today’s Game” era, 1988 to the present.

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