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  • Gil Hodges

    Instead of playing games with Pete Rose, Bud Selig should be pushing for Gil Hodges. What a great player and an even greater human being. Gil was one of the best fielding first basemen ever, outstanding hitter and a general credit to the game. It would only be fair that Gil join Jackie, Pee Wee, Duke and Campy in Cooperstown. Pete Rose? No matter how many hits you had, you never will be a Gil Hodges. If Rose gets in, Bart Giamatti will be rolling in his grave!
    108
    Yes, as a player, only.
    17.59%
    19
    Yes, as a manager only.
    0%
    0
    Yes, based on the combined value of his playing and managing
    44.44%
    48
    No.
    37.96%
    41

  • #2
    As the Commissioner of baseball, Bud Selig should not be pushing for anyone to make it to the Hall of Fame. Mr. Selig has many various and complex issues to deal with, no matter how poorly he is doing so. Somebody else's personal agenda should not be added to that list.
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    • #3
      Re: Get il Hodges in HOF

      Originally posted by Duke of URL
      Pete Rose? No matter how many hits you had, you never will be a Gil Hodges. If Rose gets in, Bart Giamatti will be rolling in his grave!
      I agree that Rose does not deserve to be in the HoF. But what does that have to do with Hodges' candidacy? He is, at best, a marginal HoFer.

      --
      Dave Kent
      Dave Kent

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      • #4
        In concert, Hodges' playing and managing achievements definitely deserve a plaque.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Cougar
          In concert, Hodges' playing and managing achievements definitely deserve a plaque.
          Only if your a diehard Brooklyn Dodger fan like me.

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          • #6
            I would not vote for Hodges, if given the opportunity. There are more deserving candidates than Hodges.
            "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
            "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
            "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
            "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Chancellor
              I would not vote for Hodges, if given the opportunity. There are more deserving candidates than Hodges.
              But isn't that a separate issue in and of itself? Why should someone else's worthiness impact whether or not Hodges is worthy?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by The Commissioner
                But isn't that a separate issue in and of itself? Why should someone else's worthiness impact whether or not Hodges is worthy?
                You're right. I shouldn't have confused the issue by adding the commentary.

                Gil Hodges was not a great player.
                Gil Hodges did not have a great playing career.
                Gil Hodges was not a great manager.
                Gil Hodges did not have a great managing career.

                His two "careers" can't be melded into anything resembling greatness. I have to disagree - for a change - with Cougar on that point.

                Hodges simply doesn't deserve election. The BBWAA was right to reject his candidacy.

                Gil Hodges doesn't belong in Cooperstown. Period.

                That I can name 20 other players who do, but don't garner nearly the popular support the Hodges candidacy does is irrelevant.

                Gil Hodges is not a Hall of Famer. Nor should he ever be.
                "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

                Comment


                • #9
                  We should strive to disagree maybe 5-10% of the time just to make it look good.

                  Gil Hodges was a great player, or at worst near-great. He was a key component of the legendary Brooklyn Dodger teams of the 40's and 50's.

                  In the 12 seasons he played full time (with about 7 others as a part timer), he hit for power very well for the time. Ebbets helped, but he still got the hits. His average was at least solid and sometimes better, and he drew walks well for the time period. He had lots of RBI -- and yes, it helps when Pee Wee, Jackie, Duke, and Campy hit ahead of you. He was an extraordinary fielder at first base and part of the leadership structure of the team (by all accounts).

                  Is he the best first baseman not in the Hall? No, I wouldn't claim that. But his accomplishments make him quite worthy of consideration.

                  Managing: Most of the teams he managed had very little talent, and his overall record is unimpressive. But managing the Miracle Mets is a one year accomplishment as a manager comparable to Maris' 1961 season, or Gibson's 1968 -- a single season accomplishment that changes the course of the game.

                  I think the combination of a near-great to great career at 1b with the signal accomplishment of managing the Miracle Mets merits induction. Reasonable people can disagree -- I just hope 3 out of 4 reasonable people see it my way one of these days.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My question regarding Hodges is this... it is agreed that Ozzie Smith and Bill Mazeroski belong in the Hall becasue they are generally regarded as being among the best to ever field their positions. Hodges is also supposedly among the best to ever field his position. Yet, why is it he tends to be regarded as hitter who was also a great fielder, rather than a great fielder who was a much better hitter than Smith or Maz?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Commissioner
                      My question regarding Hodges is this... it is agreed that Ozzie Smith and Bill Mazeroski belong in the Hall becasue they are generally regarded as being among the best to ever field their positions. Hodges is also supposedly among the best to ever field his position. Yet, why is it he tends to be regarded as hitter who was also a great fielder, rather than a great fielder who was a much better hitter than Smith or Maz?
                      A good question. I think three reasons:

                      1. SS and 2b defense is generally considered much more important than 1b defense. The greatest fielding 1b of all time not only couldn't make the HOF if he hit like Ozzie or Maz, he probably couldn't even keep a starting job.

                      2. Smith and Maz are thought to likely the very best fielders at their position ever. While some think Hodges may be the very best, he's far from the consensus choice like the other two. Arguments are made for Keith Hernandez, Vic Power, Wes Parker, Charlie Grimm, Bill White, Frank McCormick, even Hal Chase. One can safely say Hodges is among the very best defensive 1b ever, but claiming he's the very best is tough. (I think one reason for this is that the metrics for measuring 1b defense is poor.)

                      3. This is a little related to #1 -- Hodges' hitting stats are by themselves enough to make a good case for admission. 370 HR, 7 straight 100 RBI seasons, 2 seasons of 40+ HR when that meant something...the guy could rake, and it's easier to see that in offensive stats 50 years after the fact than it is to see what a superior fielder he is.

                      The fact is, Hodges' case is quite multi-dimensional: Offense, defense, team leadership, character, remarkable fan popularity, managing...maybe even a little extra sympathy for his early demise. Some of those things maybe shouldn't matter, but I think he qualifies even without them.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Macker
                        One problem with Hodges' candidacy is that he can be too easily interchanged with other good fielding, good hitting first basemen. Take Ozzie Smith away from the Cardinals & what player to you trade for to play short?

                        Joe Adcock & Ted Kluszewski are fringe candidates for the Hall. But put either of them at 1st base for Brooklyn & the Dodgers don't miss a beat. Hodges was a good player, but not an all-time great. It wouldn't be a disgrace to put Hodges in the Hall, but it's no crime that he isn't there.
                        You can put Phil Cavarretta in the mix, good fielder, high lifetime batting ave., short on power, but in my opinion as good as the above mentioned.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Addressing the Smith/Mazeroski question:

                          I think a majority of fans would say that Keith Hernandez probably was the greatest fielding first baseman in history. But not by nearly as great a margin as people would agree over Smith and Maz at short and second.

                          The vast majority of fans will agree that Smith and Maz were the greatest defensive players ever at their respective positions, two of the most demanding fielding positions on the diamond.

                          To be among the greatest fielders at one of the least important fielding positions on the diamond doesn't carry the same significance.

                          Even so...Mazeroski and Smith are barely marginal Hall of Famers even with that distinction and shouldn't be considered the standard for future selections.

                          The real question is this: does Hodges' career fall into the Gehrig, Foxx, McCovey, Murray, Killebrew, Greenberg, etc. group? Or is it more like that of non-Hall of Famers like Hernandez, Mattingly, Garvey, Allen, Adcock, etc.?

                          The best argument one could make to get Hodges elected ought to be that his accomplishments stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the vast majority of Hall of Fame first basemen.

                          I don't see that it can.
                          "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                          "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                          "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                          "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Here's a breakdown of Gil Hodges' career using win shares:

                            Hodges was never the best player on his own team. Besides the expected Hall of Famers who usually surpassed him in terms of value (Robinson, Snider, etc.), there were the occasional seasons by players like Jim Gilliam, Don Newcombe and Carl Furillo where they were of more value to the team than Hodges. In all those years, not once was Hodges the best player on the team. (He was the 2nd-best only thrice and 3rd-best two times. Hence, only 5 times in his whole career was he one of the 3 best players on the team and never once was he the best.) This is almost more of a testament to what an incredible collection of talent the Dodgers had in those days moreso than a statement of Hodges' production.

                            Among National League first basemen during Hodges' career, he finished in the top five 12 times, among the top three 10 of those 12 times and among the top 2 first basemen in the NL every year from 1949-54. He was, however, the best first baseman in the league only four times (in five years), including three consecutive seasons (1951-53). In his prime, only Musial (after he moved to first), Ted Kluszewski (when healthy enough to get the plate appearances), Joe Adcock (when not platooned by his manager) and (once) Earl Torgeson bettered him. Oh yeah...and one year he finished third behind Musial and one Ed Bouchee.

                            Among all National Leaguers, Hodges finished among the top ten 4 times in his career, from 1951-54. However, he finished 7th twice and tied for 10th place the other two times.

                            So here's the best comparisons I can make for Hodges:

                            Hodges produced at an all-star level (20+ win shares) for 9 consecutive seasons (1949-57), though had more than 26 (29, to be exact) only once (in 1954).

                            Hodges was never the best player on his team (which has several Hall of Famers - I forgot to add Campanella's name to the list earlier - but was among the best (in the top five) for eight years running (1950-57).

                            Hodges was the best first baseman in the league 4 times in a 5-year period of time.

                            Hodges was among the ten best players in the league for four consecutive seasons.

                            This is mildly impressive, but it's far from certain that he belongs in the Hall of Fame based on this evidence.

                            In a career of fairly decent length, Hodges was the best player at his position only four times. And this in a league/time when there were only 7 other starting first basemen to challenge him for the honor?

                            Hodges was a member of great teams, but never the best or brightest member on it.

                            Hodges produced at an all-star level for 9 seasons and at a "starting" level (10-19 win shares) for another 3. Whoopee....

                            Ed Yost had 7 such "all-star" seasons and 7 more "starting" seasons as a third baseman in the same league and era. Yost also had a higher peak, yet is never thought of as a Hall of Fame ballplayer.

                            What's the difference? I suppose if Yost had been fortunate enough to play in Brooklyn during the 1950s, then he'd already have been enshrined.

                            Hodges' career is too comparable to contemporaries like Ted Kluszewski and Joe Adcock, yet alone the many other similar first basemen both before and after - Hal Trosky, Norm Cash, Boog Powell. There's nothing to separate him from the pack here except for his managerial tenure (which, added to his playing career doesn't magically turn him into a "great" player) or his association with Brooklyn (which, thanks to an incredibly large network of fan support, somehow does.)
                            "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                            "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                            "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                            "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hodges as a Defensive First Baseman

                              In Win Shares, Bill James assigns letter grades to the fielding of players with X number of innings in the field, at their position.

                              Gil Hodges received a solid "B"

                              Here is a list of all the "A" grade first basemen. (Remember, this is only rating their fielding production.)

                              Rico Brogna, Norm Cash, Gordy Coleman, Charlie Comiskey, Roger Connor, Glenn Davis, Dave Foutz, Jimmie Foxx, John Ganzel, Mark Grace, Hank Greenberg, Charlie Grimm, Keith Hernandez, Kent Hrbek, Frank Isbell, George Kelly, Ed Konetchy, Candy LaChance, Tino Martinez, Don Mattingly, Frank McCormick, George McQuinn, Dots Miller, Stan Musial, Dan O'Brien, John Olerud, Rafael Palmeiro, Wes Parker, Wally Pipp, Vic Power, George Stovall, Patsy Tebeau, Bill Terry, Eddie Waitkus, Perry Werden, Bill White, Carl Yastrzemski and Rudy York.

                              Now that's 38 first basemen and it doesn't even include the B+ crowd or the other B first basemen that are tied or only slightly better than Hodges in fielding production.

                              I guess what win shares is saying is that Hodges' fielding isn't even among the best guys ever at his position. While solidly above average, it's far from being a factor worthy of consideration in terms of his candidacy for the Hall of Fame.

                              I suppose, like everything else about the man, he's remembered as being better than he actually was thanks to the vast collection of literature on those teams and the nostalgic sentimentality of those who still remember seeing him play.
                              "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                              "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                              "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                              "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

                              Comment

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