The chapter of Roger Kahn’s seminal baseball masterpiece “The Boys of Summer time” dedicated to Gil Hodges is titled merely, and appropriately: “One Who Stayed in Brooklyn.” Lengthy after the Dodgers had absolutely deserted the borough, even lengthy after most aggrieved Dodgers followers had moved on, Hodges and his household stayed.
That stretch of Bedford Avenue, between Avenues L and M, is now known as Gil Hodges Method. It’s a most acceptable title for each for a road in addition to for the rationale Hodges’ household and a good sampling of his former gamers had been gathered in Cooperstown on Sunday, on a sunny, muggy day wherein Hodges was eventually inducted amongst baseball’s immortals.
“Gil Hodges” is the title on the plaque that can grasp within the museum’s hallowed halls ceaselessly.
But it surely was actually Gil Hodges’ Method that was being honored.
“While you consider it,” Irene Hodges, Gil’s daughter, had stated Thursday, as she made her method from Brooklyn to Cooperstown, beginning the lengthy cruise up Route 17. “His was such a brief life in so some ways. He handed away at 47 and he could be nearly 100 now and but individuals nonetheless respect him and love him — regardless that for 50 of these years he wasn’t round. I feel that’s a fairly wonderful feat for anybody.”
Irene Hodges, daughter of Corridor of Fame inductee Gil Hodges, touches the likeness of her father on his plaque held by Josh Rawitch, President of the Nationwide Baseball Corridor of Fame and Museum.AP
That was his method: his influence on teammates. His affect on the gamers he managed. His hands-on method to guiding the Mets to unapproachable glory in 1969.
Fourteen years earlier, on a group loaded with stars, it had been Hodges who made sure Subsequent 12 months would lastly arrive in Brooklyn. It was Hodges who drove in the one two runs within the Dodgers’ 2-0 win in Recreation 7, one on a single, one on a sac fly. It was Hodges in whose glove the ultimate out settled at 3:43 p.m. on Oct. 1, 1955, securing the throw from Pee Wee Reese.
When Hodges and his household returned to their two-story home, there have been a whole lot of Dodgers followers who’d gathered to greet them. As a result of he wasn’t only a freshly-crowned world champion. He was a Brooklynite. He was one among them.
That was Gil Hodges’ method.
“He was a really humble man,” Irene stated in her speech Sunday, talking on behalf of her father, her household, and a legion of Dodgers and Mets followers whose lives he impacted, “however he could be so proud to be right here with the perfect of the perfect in baseball.”
Early in his managing profession, with a horrible group in Washington, there got here a second of reality. He’d heard that 4 of his gamers had busted curfew. In a group assembly he informed them: “I do know this, and you understand that I do know who you’re. You’re fined $100. However I don’t need to embarrass anybody as a result of I do know a few of you’re married. I’ve an outdated cigar field on my desk. Put the cash in there.”
When Hodges flipped open the field, he discovered $700. Hodges might have been a younger skipper. However even then his gamers didn’t need to disappoint.
That was Gill Hodges’ method.
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It was Father Herbert Raymond, a 44-year outdated parish priest at St. Francis Xavier Church on Sixth Avenue in Park Slope, who saved selecting up the newspapers within the unseasonably heat spring of 1953, studying field scores, seeing Hodges’ batting common plummet — this seven months after Hodges had gone 0-for-21 within the ’52 World Sequence
One particularly steamy Sunday, in lieu of a sermon, Father Raymond informed his congregation: “Go residence, preserve the Commandments. And say a prayer for Gil Hodges.”
Quickly thereafter, Hodges’ bat perked up. Does prayer assist? Hodges hit .302 in ’53, with 31 homers and 122 RBIs. It definitely didn’t harm.
That was Gil Hodges’ method.
The plaque that can grasp within the Corridor known as him a “foundational cornerstone” of the Boys of Summer time Dodgers. He was that, precisely, together with Duke Snider, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella and Jackie Robinson, all of whom preceded Hodges to Cooperstown and who should now really feel full once more.
“Gil,” Robinson stated after Hodges’ passing in 1972, “was the perfect of us.”
That, too, was Gil Hodges’ method.