Hall of Famers

Gil Hodges INF 14

Princeton, IN
West Palm Beach, FL
Years with Dodgers:
1943, 1947-1961
Inducted into Hall of Fame:

Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodger first baseman Gil Hodges is considered to be one of the most beloved players of a team and an era upon his 2022 induction to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.   The post-war late 1940s and 1950s often described as “The Golden Era” for baseball, had the Brooklyn Dodgers as one of the most notable of any sports team.  The Dodgers won 90 or more games in six consecutive seasons in the 1950s.  They won 90 or more games in seven of eight seasons (1949-1956) and much of it due to the performance of Hodges. Hodges was one of the top home run hitters in baseball history after he retired in 1963 when he ranked 11th on the all-time home run list with 370.  

On the day of Gil Hodges’ wedding to Joan, 11-year-old Peter O’Malley took this snapshot.

Photo by Peter O’Malley. All Rights Reserved.

Peter O’Malley, 11, wrote this description on the back of the snapshot of Gil and Joan Hodges’ wedding day.

His career home run total made him the third highest right hand batter in home runs trailing only Jimmie Foxx and Willie Mays and he was the sixth highest National League home run hitter when he finished his career.  He drove in runs to help the Dodgers win.  76% of Hodges’ career RBI came in Dodger victories, comparable to Babe Ruth’s mark of 77%, Mickey Mantle at 76%, Lou Gehrig at 76% and 73% of RBI in team wins by Stan Musial.  In 1950, Hodges hit four home runs in a game on August 31, 1950, and it was the first time it had been done after 1900 by a National League player.  During the 1950s decade, only Hodges and Snider drove in more than 1,000 runs (Snider, 1,031 and Hodges, 1,001).  He caught the final out at first base on a ground ball to Pee Wee Reese in the seventh game of the 1955 World Series, when Johnny Podres shut out the New York Yankees, 2-0 for the Dodgers’ first World Championship.  During the Dodgers’ 1956 Goodwill Series in Japan in 1956, he captivated fans with his playing style and pantomime ballplaying and by that became an instant international baseball ambassador.  

In 1959, he hit .391 in the World Series and hit an eighth-inning home run to defeat the Chicago White Sox in Game 4, giving the Dodgers a 3-1 Series lead where they would eventually win the World Championship in six games. Hodges was named to eight National League All-Star teams.  He won the first three National League Gold Gloves as a first baseman, an award that began in 1957. His baseball career did not end after he finished playing.  He managed the Washington Senators for five seasons (1963-1967) and the New York Mets (1968-1971).  When the 1969 “Miracle Mets” won their World Championship, it was Hodges who led them as manager as the Mets won seven of eight post-season games.  

He earned a Bronze Star as a U.S. Marine in World War II.  Baseball’s greatest broadcaster ever, Vin Scully, wrote this shortly before Hodges’ election to the Hall of Fame on December 5, 2021.  “I am often asked who the best ballplayer was that I watched during my broadcasting career…It is truly impossible for me to single out just one player.  However, in terms of the player I watched who performed at a high level on the playing field, but at an even higher level off the field in how they lived and carried out their lives, my response is an easy one – Gil Hodges.”