2000-02-19 / Editorial/Opinion

Put Hodges In Hall Of Fame

As the Hall of Fame Committee on Baseball Veterans prepares to select this year's player inductee on February 29, there is an outcry of support for Gil Hodges, the popular Brooklyn Dodger. The younger generation of Rockaway might think of the Gil Hodges-Marine Parkway Bridge or Gil Hodges Bowling Alley in Brooklyn when his name is mentioned, but this man, as proven by his record, is worthy of being named to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Hodges spent 18 seasons with three different teams--Brooklyn Dodgers, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets--and holds a .992 fielding percentage. A lifetime .273 hitter, Hodges amassed 1,274 runs batted in, 370 home runs and 1,921 hits over the course of his career. He had more than 100 RBI each season from 1949 to 1955, and for five years in a row from 1950 to 1954, hit at least 30 home runs. On August 31, 1950 Hodges became the first player in major league history to hit four home runs in one game and was an eight-time National League All-Star, contributing significantly to the seven pennants and two World Series wins captured by the Dodgers between 1947 and 1959.

Hodges missed induction into the Hall by one vote in 1992, but Cincinnati Reds third baseman Tony Perez was recently inducted with similar statistics to Hodges.

To join the effort to have Hodges inducted, write the Veterans Committee members at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 590, Cooperstown, New York 13326. It was an honor to name a bridge after Hodges, but the time is right to bestow this great baseball player with the title "Hall of Famer."

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