Historian stirs memories of Gil Hodges

August 1, 2022 Theodore W. General
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Brooklyn Borough Historian Ron Schweiger was the keynote speaker at the 142nd anniversary luncheon of the Society of Old Brooklynites. Among the Brooklyn Dodgers photos and artifacts he brought was a bumper sticker that said, “Cooperstown needs Gil Hodges.” It was a piece of memorabilia he acquired more than 20 years ago, which clearly demonstrates how long it took for Hodges to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

The late Marty Adler, an assistant principal at the Jackie Robinson Public School near the former site of Ebbets Field, was an avid Dodgers fan. He told sportswriters and anyone who would listen that Hodges belonged in the Hall of Fame. Adler even established his own Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Fame and reportedly printed and distributed 5,000 of the Hodges bumper stickers. Adler is also credited with convincing city education officials to name the school for Jackie Robinson.

Schweiger also brought copies of the original blueprints for Ebbets Field to the luncheon, which took place at the Bay Ridge Manor.

Mezzosoprano Madison Marie McIntosh gave an awesome operatic performance, and Society Vice President Mike Spinner talked about the upcoming 114th annual memorial tribute to America’s first POWs, the Prison Ship Martyrs of the American Revolution. This event takes place on Aug. 27 at the base of the 149-foot monument in Fort Greene Park. Forty feet under this massive structure is a crypt containing the remains of 11,500 patriots.  

Dr. Fred Monderson, an author, photographer and historian who also serves as the society’s chaplain, gave an inspiring and uplifting invocation. In the absence of society President George Broadhead, I had the opportunity to emcee the program.

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