The election of Gil Hodges to the National Baseball Hall of Fame means over half of the usual lineup of the iconic Brooklyn Dodgers teams of the 1950s will be represented in Cooperstown.
Jackie Robinson was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1962. Catcher Roy Campanella joined him in 1969. Duke Snider was elected in 1980, and the veterans committee anointed shortstop Pee Wee Reese in 1984. The famed 1955 Dodgers team that won the first championship in franchise history had those five Hall of Famers in the lineup, plus rookie pitchers named Sandy Koufax and Tommy Lasorda. They were managed by another Hall of Famer, Walt Alston.
Now Hodges joins the group, which was a relief to his many fans and supporters.
- Carl Erskine, one of two living members of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, talked with Tyler Kepner of the New York Times about Hodges. Said Erskine: “If he gave you this look, he didn’t have to say anything. He was not a holler guy, but he gave you the look and you had the meaning of it already.”
- “He was one hell of a first baseman — the prototype for a first baseman,” former Mets outfielder Cleon Jones told Bill Ladson of MLB.com. “For that alone, he should have been in [the Hall]. I know for a fact that he would have been a Hall of Fame manager had he lived. I’m tickled to death for his family. He is certainly deserving of it.”
- Gil Hodges’ daughter Irene told Sarah Valenzuela of the New York Daily News of her father’s Hall of Fame election, “When I received the phone call and I heard, ‘I am very happy to tell you,’ I was hysterical. I cried terribly, because I honestly couldn’t believe it was really happening.”
- A fun note from Mike DiGiovanna’s news story at the Los Angeles Times: Hodges’ widow Joan still lives in the same Brooklyn house she and Gil shared during his playing days.
- At FanGraphs, Hall of Fame expert Jay Jaffe has more on Sunday’s six inductees to Cooperstown — Hodges, Buck O’Neil, Bud Fowler, Minnie Miñoso, Jim Kaat, and Tony Oliva.
- Jim Alexander at the Orange County Register second guesses Dick Allen missing out on the Hall call by just one vote, and wonders what game-changer Maury Wills has to do to merit further consideration.