Why isn’t Gil Hodges in the Hall of Fame?

Former Mets manager Gil Hodges has been repeatedly denied entry to the Hall of Fame by the Golden Era Committee.

In order to gain entry, players needed to appear on 12 of the 16 ballots. Hodges received nine votes. The Committee did vote in Ron Santo, who received 15 of 16 votes. Jim Kaat received 10, Minny Minos received nine and Tony Oiliva eight.

In addition to managing the 1969 Mets to 108 wins and an improbable World Series victory in five games over the heavily-favored Baltimore Orioles, Hodges hit 370 home runs and drove in 1,274 runs, with a career .273 batting average over 18 seasons with the Dodgers — both in Brooklyn and Los Angeles — and the Mets. He was an All-Star eight times and won the 1958 National League Gold Glove at first base.


Mail IconJohn P.C., a reader of MetsBlog

I know everyone’s up in arms about Mike Piazza, but to not have Hodges in the Hall of Fame is disgraceful. During his time, he was unbelievable. Six pennants, he won the first three gold gloves, held the title of most home runs by a righty, and coached the Mets to a World Series.  All of this before age 47 when he died. I know Vin Scully has been trying to push to get him in, but to no avail. Instead of being the Hall of Very Good players, which it has become, it should be the extremely elite and Hodges was one of them.

Brian Erni

Dec. 11, 2011: Every year, I hope that Gil earns what I feel is his proper spot in Cooperstown and, thus far, I’ve been disappointed. Admittedly, most of my impressions of how dynamic a manager Hodges was comes from reflective stories from my father, but what he was able to accomplish in 1969 remains one of the most stunning miracles in sports. Add to that his imposing offensive presence on the great Dodgers teams of the ’50s (including the 1955 club that won the World Series) and I think his resume speaks for itself.

66 comments
Billy Causgrove
Billy Causgrove

Gil Hodges didn't win MVP closest was 7th in 1957 never led the league in anything like Home Runs RBI's Batting average slugging percentage on base percentage did finished second in Home Runs a few times didn't reach any milestones like 500 Home Runs 3000 Hits he didn't even reach 2000 hits and he died way to young that's why Gil Hodges isn't in

joeval
joeval

I wonder if Tom Seaver, HOF Bd Member, can prosecute the case for Gil in the up an coming Golden Era Election in the Fall 2014? Everyone knows it takes insider support to clearly present a winning case. This is sour grapes, but how else could an average player like Bill Maz of the 1960 WS Pirate Fame get the votes?  For me Gil was and still is what baseball should embrace as to what makes a fan live and die with every season, game, pitch and yes for those who can recall we famously prayed for!


Joe Valentine

Is it still possible for Gil to make it into the Hall?  Truly a disgrace that he is not gracing the Hall.  His playing ability and stats are deserving of that honor, but Hodges was also known for his class, integrity and quiet strength... (As I recall, the Hall lists these qualities as factors to consider, and Hodges personifies them more than any player I know).  Factor-in some of the moral- morons who have made the Hall;  and in the coming years just look at the classless players we are going to consider!  //          Okay....his stats.  Remember, one of the  best ways to determine a player's level-of-play is to look at his 'era'.   Hodges played when the League wasn't saturated with expansion teams......Up to that time, no right-handed hitter had more homers than Hodges.......When he retired, no National Leaguer had more Grand Slams.......He had as many RBIs in the 1950s than almost anyone........He was The Best fielding first-baseman in that decade (remember>>defense is part of baseball !.......and Gil was one-hell-of-a World Series Manager.      Class and ability at the highest level of -his- time.        Please, some common sense .      Make room for Gil Hodges and make the Hall proud

burrito
burrito

When he retired, Hodges had the record for most lifetime home runs by a right handed batter in the National League. More HRs that Ralph Kiner. His home run total, in the days before PEDs and expansion, left him at 10th on the all time list when he reited.


But unlike Kiner, who was mostly a home run hitter, Hodges was also the best defensive first baseman in the National League during the '50's. ( I know, ask Keither Hernandez how much that is worth.) Add to that taking ther Mets, who in '68 finished in last place, and leading them to win the WS in '69. If Phil Rizzuto and Bill Mazeroski are in the Hall of Fame, why is Gil.

cmetsfan
cmetsfan

Well the hall was intended to further celebrate great players, and very good stats in combination with upholding the game's integrity, is right now closer to greatness than these guys juicing, while earning money inconceivable 40-50 years ago. I don't know If Gill Hodges deserves to be in the HOF but I don't think people that use steroids in a game marketed to kids should be getting the modern high MLB Salary figures. 

zoddie
zoddie

He just wasn't a good enough player and didn't manage long enough.  There are probably a half dozen first basemen who deserve to go in the HOF before Gil.  There's no shame in that.  He would be at home in the Hall Of Very, Very Good.

cver
cver

And you can even add to all of that - second most RBIs in the ML in the 1950's (1,001, second only to Duke Snyder's 1301).  Hodges belonged in the Hall a long time ago.  It's stupid, especially when you consider who has gotten in.

number17
number17

It's - Minnie Minoso and 100 wins in 1969. Does anyone proofread?

Brian Barr
Brian Barr

There were only 100 wins in '69... this site is becoming more and more bush league every day. 

sayhey24
sayhey24

I loved Gil as a player and manager. I have no doubt that if he had lived to manage 5 more years, that he would be in the hall. If his team had won more WS he might also have made it. The thing is that he played in an era where he was overshadowed by a big group of players and he played at an offensive position. If he went to the hall based upon his merits as a player, it would have to be opened up to 20 or so other players with better stats. Its a tough call.

samc
samc

The '69 Mets had 108 wins? I think there might be some confusion with another Mets team there...

Kyle Tompkins
Kyle Tompkins

From 1949- '57, Gil Hodges averaged 32 homers, 108 RBI, .887 OPS, a 4.5 WAR, and .372 OBP.


He hit more than 30 homers 6 times in his career, and had over 100 RBI 7-straight years.


And Lets not forget, he managed the lovable losers to the World Series in 1969.


He was an amazing player, a great baseball man, and deserves to be in the hall of fame.

metjetnet
metjetnet

That's Minnie Minoso. Great player. Proof your work.

Bob Burket
Bob Burket

If he were to ever get in, his Wife Joan should get up there and give the Italian Salute!

Bob Burket
Bob Burket

Gil probably PO'd somebody over the years and is blackballed. It just shows that too many morons have a vote and shouldn't.

mets2891
mets2891

The Hall of Fame is a non-entity to me until Mike Piazza is in.

jlga
jlga

He hit 273! How is he a Hall of Fame player? A good first baseman and a fine manager, but not worthy of Cooperstown.

If he's allowed in then who's next? How many other substandard players would suddenly become worthy of enshrinement ??

Rich Colacino
Rich Colacino

Gil Hodges did not make the HOF because he does not deserve it!

His numbers are not even close. Never led the league in anything, Only 2x was even top 10 in MVP voting. Does not even have 2000 hits for his career. Only hit .273. Never even hit 30 doubles in a season. And he played a stadium that should have produced monster numbers. He was a nice player for a decade but he isn't even close to being a HOF player.....his one WS does not get added to the top. You are in as a player or manager, not combined. His one WS does not qualify him for HOF either. 

metstastic
metstastic

I just don't like how voting to the HOF is made.. You end having to lobby to get in and that is just not right. Every year there should be X amount of players making into the HOF and the top Y vote getters get in. This way the top players get in relative to everyone else.

rstpigeon
rstpigeon

It's a close call but I'd wager that if he'd broken the 2000 hit barrier, he'd have gotten in. His career just tailed off over his last few years and, looking at the era and his competition, that makes it a tough call as to where he stands against his peers of that time.

mingo
mingo

Essentially, his .273 average has weighed him down.

He was Tony Perez with a great glove, more power and a shorter playing career.

It can easily be argued if Perez is in, that Hodges is more deserving.

Craig Gilman
Craig Gilman

Gil hodges had more rib's than anyone other than duke snider during the 1950 than anyone! This was the golden age of baseball! He deserves to be in the hall

mets2891
mets2891

@jlga When Gil Hodges retired he had more career home runs than any NL hitter in MLB history.

Hodges14
Hodges14

@jlga

Ralph Kiner .279

Mike Schmidt .267

Brooks Robinson .267

Ozzie Smith .262

Ron Santo .277

Tony Perez .279

Bill Mazeroski .260

none of them managed a team to a WS win.

1craigswan
1craigswan

@jlga Phil Rizzuto had a .273 batting average. Mazeroski had a .260 batting average. Both in the hall. Gil had put numbers far superior to those two combined. 

mingo
mingo

@Rich Colacino Your perception is the problem with the Hall voting.

Its not all about numbers. Only to those who didn't see a player play or didn't know much about them or their reputation when they played.

Hodges was amongst the top Right Handed Home run hitters all time when he retired. This, despite not playing an overextended career. He was the Gold Standard for fielding at first base. He was the best player at his position for a good ten years in both leagues. He was second in Home Runs and RBIs during the 1950s.

He was the single best clutch hitter in the 1950s, and was the main RBI guy and the main cog in a Baseball Dynasty. To me, that is a Hall of Famer.

He also missed between two and three years due to military service.

John Paul Cullinane
John Paul Cullinane

@Rich ColacinoThink about all the great players of the 50's (before all the crappy expansion teams and watered down talent) with better talent on the field.  The only person to be in front of Hodges in homers and RBI's in the 50's was Duke Snider.  His final HR total was top 10 ever at that time.  Think of all the other players who came before him and how impressive that is.  His defensive stats are unreal and, yes, winning a WS as a manager gets added to his resume as well.  He should be in, without a doubt, and I hope he gets in later this year so his wife can finally see it...

Hodges14
Hodges14

@Rich Colacino FALSE.  Player's playing career can be considered ALONG with his managerial career.  Joe Torre is a great example.

Harley Alderson
Harley Alderson

@rstpigeonthats not really his fault though. they started to sit him for younger players at the end of his career. you gotta remeber back in that day and age if you were 34-35 years old you were over the hill as a player. today you got guys in their 40's still playing better than most young guys. i cant remeber who exactly replaced gil in los angeles  i wasnt alivethen but people need to take into consideation the different eras were in

Hodges14
Hodges14

@rstpigeon It's the era he played in plus the players that were already in the hall when Hodges was on the ballot.  I think if you compare Hodges to players in the hall now it's a no brainer that he belongs.  But apparently when he was eligible there were enough writers that didn't believe he measured up to the existing hall of famers at the time.  The thing, in my mind that should push Hodges over the top is his success as a manager with the Mets.  If you've ever listened to any of the players from the 1969 Mets they all say their success was because of Hodges.

sylow59
sylow59

@mingo Perez played during th4e 60s and 70s, a time when the game was pitching oriented.  Hodges played in the 40s and 50s when power based offense was dominant.

He is the 1950s version of Norm Cash and Boog Powell.  He was a very good player, but not elite.  Just because some idiots voted in Rube Marquard doesn't mean you need to vote in every Andy Pettite.

Hodges14
Hodges14

@mingo By the time Tony Perez got in the standards had dropped significantly.  I suspect if Perez was eligible at the same time as Hodges he wouldn't have gotten in either.

hobiel
hobiel

@mets2891 @jlga Lead MLB in all-time HR for a RHB, passed Kiner as a Met with Ralph ib the booth.  Mel Ott (NL) had 500+ HR.

zoddie
zoddie

@Hodges14@jlgaWhy are we using batting averages to compare players?  What is this, 1985?  Also, as others have said, comparing the best fielding shortstop in history to a first baseman is a little silly.

zoddie
zoddie

@mingoIt is largely about the numbers.  Since no one can see every game played, having numbers to compare everyone is what we have to go on.  Obviously there are additional factors to measure, like a managerial record. 

@Rich Colacino is wrong in saying that he isn't close.  He is close, but not quite there.  He did have a long career - he played until he was 39.


As for being an RBI guy, that's a function of your team but, even so, he is 122nd all time in RBIs.


Again, I think he's really, really close but not quite there.  He's Will Clark, except a slightly better fielder and a slightly worse hitter.

John Paul Cullinane
John Paul Cullinane

@Rich ColacinoThe following teams have been added since: 

Angels, Rangers, Astros, Mets, Royals, Expos (nat's), Padres, Brewers, Mariners, Blue Jays, Rockies, Marlins, Diamondbacks, Rays


...now take 14 teams rotations...70 starters...away, and think about how much better the talent was then.  You have to compare people in their era.  Hodges played during a time of some amazing players and he was the best first basemen of that time...period.

Hodges14
Hodges14

@sylow59 @mingo In Perez' case I think he also benefitted from the Old Timer's committee electing Orlando Cepeda the year before Perez was elected.  Their numbers are very similar.

sylow59
sylow59

@Hodges14 @sylow59 @mingo Cepeda had a higher peak value.  Perez was more of a lifetime numbers guy.  Both are marginal, but I think Cepeda is more deserving.  Perez was part of the Big Red Machine.