Gilbert Ray Hodges, ne Hodge (April 4, 1924 – April 2, 1972) was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) first baseman and manager who played most of his 18-year career for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. He was inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 1982.
Hodges is generally considered to be the best defensive first baseman in the 1950s. He was an All-Star for eight seasons and a Gold Glove Award winner for three consecutive seasons. Hodges and Duke Snider are the only players to have the most home runs or runs batted in together during the decade with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Hodges was the National League (NL) leader in double plays four times and in putouts, assists and fielding percentage three times each. He ranked second in NL history with 1,281 assists and 1,614 double plays when his career ended, and was among the league's career leaders in games (6th, 1,908) and total chances (10th, 16,751) at first base.
Hodges also managed the New York Mets to the 1969 World Series title, one of the greatest upsets in Fall Classic history.
In 2014, Hodges appeared for the second time as a candidate on the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Golden Era Committee election ballot for possible Hall of Fame consideration in 2015. He and the other candidates all missed getting elected. The Committee meets and votes on ten candidates selected from the 1947 to 1972 era every three years.
By Dean Hanley
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