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  • #31
    Tony Perez vs. Gil Hodges?

    Originally posted by jalbright
    There might be a point here, but it needs a lot more development to be persuasive at all. See the post in the other Hodges thread we've sparred on for the kind of detail I think is needed. One particular concern is when did Hodges get out of the service? Most guys were out by the spring of 1946. Was Hodges an exception? Was he playing ball in 1946? Where and how much? How did he do? Show us that it wasn't physical maturity he needed, but specific baseball skills. I'm not willing to buy that military service impedes physical maturity, but a lack of playing time due to military service certainly could impede the development of baseball skills (i.e. hitting a curve, though it may or may not apply here).

    Jim Albright
    Thank you for posting here too, I'm glad you found it on this thread. I talked about this in our other thread, I will reference it on the net and I also own every Dodgers yearbook and many books I'll dig out.
    Lets support Gil Hodges for The Hall of Fame, a true Hall of Famer.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by jalbright
      There might be a point here, but it needs a lot more development to be persuasive at all. See the post in the other Hodges thread we've sparred on for the kind of detail I think is needed. One particular concern is when did Hodges get out of the service? Most guys were out by the spring of 1946. Was Hodges an exception? Was he playing ball in 1946? Where and how much? How did he do? Show us that it wasn't physical maturity he needed, but specific baseball skills. I'm not willing to buy that military service impedes physical maturity, but a lack of playing time due to military service certainly could impede the development of baseball skills (i.e. hitting a curve, though it may or may not apply here).

      Jim Albright
      Jim, it is speculative, but that is what makes baseball great , the what ifs rather than the for sures. Anybody can read a bunch of numbers. If numbers alone equal Hall Of Fame worthiness, then the Hall should be based on plate appearances and adjusted OPS for hitters and innings pitched and ERA plus for pitchers. Would Gil get in under such a system? Probably not. Should Gil be in the Hall? I think so, and I have no real problem with Tony Perez being there too.

      I think I can say for sure that Gil was not in the same league with Ted Williams. It is amazing that not once but twice, Williams was taken from the game for a couple of years and he came back after playing no baseball during the interruption and performed as though he had never been away from the game. Williams did a lot of remarkable things, but to me the most amazing was his ability to be the dominate hitter of his era after being in the military not once but twice.

      Comment


      • #33
        Generally, I have limited patience for what-ifs, except for guys who were prevented by business decisions of baseball (Japanese players, Lefty Grove), the color line, or military service from playing in the majors. Those things all come from forces outside the player's control and have nothing to do with the player's ability or desire to play in the majors. Hodges may be able to make the argument about military service, but because he didn't produce like a major leaguer until 1949, this argument must be especially carefully developed and documented to be persuasive. We've got to know what the circumstances were for Gil's call-up in 1943, what he was doing in 1946, and what finally helped him become productive in 1949. I don't have any information saying he was injured during his military service, so I'm not willing to give him a break if all that happened was physical or emotional maturation. I don't see the military being a hindrance in that case. If he was in the unlikely scenario that he was a ballplayer who happened to be in uniform, that undercuts the argument as well, because it's much harder to argue that he really lost that much time developing when he was playing a lot of baseball anyway. On the other hand, if, for example, he needed to learn to hit a curve and had two to four years away from the game while he was serving in the military, there's much more reason to give him a break--and the difference in longevity between Hodges and Perez is about two season's worth.

        Jim Albright
        Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
        Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
        A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by DoubleX
          This thread is inspired by a discussion between Kramer_47 and abacab in the Richie Allen HoF thread... A lot of people say Perez was a bad selection for the Hall, and then there are a lot of people who say Hodges should be in the Hall. Who do you think was better (and not necessarily who was more Hall worthy)?
          i'd take perez over hodges any day.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by jalbright
            Generally, I have limited patience for what-ifs, except for guys who were prevented by business decisions of baseball (Japanese players, Lefty Grove), the color line, or military service from playing in the majors. Those things all come from forces outside the player's control and have nothing to do with the player's ability or desire to play in the majors. Hodges may be able to make the argument about military service, but because he didn't produce like a major leaguer until 1949, this argument must be especially carefully developed and documented to be persuasive. We've got to know what the circumstances were for Gil's call-up in 1943, what he was doing in 1946, and what finally helped him become productive in 1949. I don't have any information saying he was injured during his military service, so I'm not willing to give him a break if all that happened was physical or emotional maturation. I don't see the military being a hindrance in that case. If he was in the unlikely scenario that he was a ballplayer who happened to be in uniform, that undercuts the argument as well, because it's much harder to argue that he really lost that much time developing when he was playing a lot of baseball anyway. On the other hand, if, for example, he needed to learn to hit a curve and had two to four years away from the game while he was serving in the military, there's much more reason to give him a break--and the difference in longevity between Hodges and Perez is about two season's worth.

            Jim Albright
            Just did a quick google search for Gil's World War II service. I did not see the date he was discharged, though it was sometime in 1945. If I recall my American history correctly VJ day was in August, so Gil lost all of the 1945 baseball season to military service. He was stationed in the South Pacific with the Marines during the war in a anti-aircraft artillery unit. He recieved the bronze star and a combat action ribbon. This was not a fellow who spent the war playing baseball while in the military.

            Comment


            • #36
              Tony Perez vs. Gil Hodges?

              Originally posted by stan opdyke
              Just did a quick google search for Gil's World War II service. I did not see the date he was discharged, though it was sometime in 1945. If I recall my American history correctly VJ day was in August, so Gil lost all of the 1945 baseball season to military service. He was stationed in the South Pacific with the Marines during the war in a anti-aircraft artillery unit. He recieved the bronze star and a combat action ribbon. This was not a fellow who spent the war playing baseball while in the military.
              I posted on the brooklyn Dodgers thread "No wonder GIL can't get in" about Gil's war record, he served about 21/2 years so he probably went in in 1943 late and got out early 1946. I'll repost it here so you guys can see, it supports what you say Stan.

              This is just part of the proof that Gil was a combat Marine, he spend about 21/2 years in the Marines between training and time overseas I'm working on getting exact dates now. As Tony alluded to Gil spent time in one of the hottest pacific theaters, earning medals for his brave service. This article comes from Military.com, it is called corps athletes of the past.

              http://www.military.com/features/0,,78603,00.html

              "Legendary Brooklyn Dodgers first baseman and New York Mets manager Gil Hodges, who hit 370 home runs over an 18-year major-league career, was a Marine option in the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program before he was called to active duty.
              Hodges served with the 16th Antiaircraft Bn, and during the 18 months he was stationed in the South Pacific, he saw action on Tinian and Okinawa. Hodges was promoted to sergeant during the war and received a Bronze Star. He also earned a Combat Action Ribbon, but never gained the recognition he deserved for that honor until he posthumously received the award in June 2004. At a presentation ceremony held at Shea Stadium, his wife said, “He was so proud to be an American and so proud to be a Marine".

              This is from SABR.ORG
              http://bioproj.sabr.org/bioproj.cfm?...id=20&pid=6399

              "After two years, he found himself a full-time drill press operator and playing on the company team. He was bird-dogged by local sporting goods storeowner and part-time Dodgers scout Stanley Feezle, who also would later sign hurler Carl Erskine for the Dodgers. Although Hodges was originally scouted as a shortstop, General Manager Branch Rickey noticed a hitch in Hodges' throw from short and suggested he try catching. [New York Times, April 3, 1972]

              Hodges had the proverbial "cup of coffee" with the 1943 team, making his debut on August 23, wearing uniform #4 instead of his customary #14 and playing third base instead of first. [Boys of Summer] A member of the Marines R.O.T.C., he was drafted into the Marine Corps and spent much of the next 21/2 years stationed on Pearl Harbor, Tinian and Okinawa as a gunner in the 16th Anti-Aircraft Battalion. Discharged as a sergeant in early 1946, Hodges was a recipient of the Bronze Star for his deeds in the South Pacific. Don Hoak, a future Dodgers teammate, said, "We kept hearing stories about this big guy from Indiana who killed Japs [Japanese soldiers] with his bare hands." [New York Times, April 3, 1972]

              The following info comes from the 1950 Brooklyn Dodgers official yearbook.

              He returned in 1946 and Branch Rickey after a long wait could finally convert Gil to catcher, Branch sent him to Newport News to learn the catchers position. Gil was an all star with Newport News, his first year of catching, hitting .278 with 8 homers and 64 rbi in 129 games after the long layoff. In 1947 he came up to the Dodgers to stay as the backup catcher, but Campy came in the middle of 1948 and Gil became the 1st baseman.
              There is more to come as I find it, but as you can see he lost 2 years of playing time making me believe he would have been as good in 1947 as 1949 if not for his military service.
              Lets support Gil Hodges for The Hall of Fame, a true Hall of Famer.

              Comment


              • #37
                Tony Perez vs. Gil Hodges?

                Originally posted by kramer_47
                I posted on the brooklyn Dodgers thread "No wonder GIL can't get in" about Gil's war record, he served about 21/2 years so he probably went in in 1943 late and got out early 1946. I'll repost it here so you guys can see, it supports what you say Stan.

                This is just part of the proof that Gil was a combat Marine, he spend about 21/2 years in the Marines between training and time overseas I'm working on getting exact dates now. As Tony alluded to Gil spent time in one of the hottest pacific theaters, earning medals for his brave service. This article comes from Military.com, it is called corps athletes of the past.

                http://www.military.com/features/0,,78603,00.html

                "Legendary Brooklyn Dodgers first baseman and New York Mets manager Gil Hodges, who hit 370 home runs over an 18-year major-league career, was a Marine option in the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program before he was called to active duty.
                Hodges served with the 16th Antiaircraft Bn, and during the 18 months he was stationed in the South Pacific, he saw action on Tinian and Okinawa. Hodges was promoted to sergeant during the war and received a Bronze Star. He also earned a Combat Action Ribbon, but never gained the recognition he deserved for that honor until he posthumously received the award in June 2004. At a presentation ceremony held at Shea Stadium, his wife said, “He was so proud to be an American and so proud to be a Marine".

                This is from SABR.ORG
                http://bioproj.sabr.org/bioproj.cfm?...id=20&pid=6399

                "After two years, he found himself a full-time drill press operator and playing on the company team. He was bird-dogged by local sporting goods storeowner and part-time Dodgers scout Stanley Feezle, who also would later sign hurler Carl Erskine for the Dodgers. Although Hodges was originally scouted as a shortstop, General Manager Branch Rickey noticed a hitch in Hodges' throw from short and suggested he try catching. [New York Times, April 3, 1972]

                Hodges had the proverbial "cup of coffee" with the 1943 team, making his debut on August 23, wearing uniform #4 instead of his customary #14 and playing third base instead of first. [Boys of Summer] A member of the Marines R.O.T.C., he was drafted into the Marine Corps and spent much of the next 21/2 years stationed on Pearl Harbor, Tinian and Okinawa as a gunner in the 16th Anti-Aircraft Battalion. Discharged as a sergeant in early 1946, Hodges was a recipient of the Bronze Star for his deeds in the South Pacific. Don Hoak, a future Dodgers teammate, said, "We kept hearing stories about this big guy from Indiana who killed Japs [Japanese soldiers] with his bare hands." [New York Times, April 3, 1972]

                The following info comes from the 1950 Brooklyn Dodgers official yearbook.

                He returned in 1946 and Branch Rickey after a long wait could finally convert Gil to catcher, Branch sent him to Newport News to learn the catchers position. Gil was an all star with Newport News, his first year of catching, hitting .278 with 8 homers and 64 rbi in 129 games after the long layoff. In 1947 he came up to the Dodgers to stay as the backup catcher, but Campy came in the middle of 1948 and Gil became the 1st baseman.
                There is more to come as I find it, but as you can see he lost 2 years of playing time making me believe he would have been as good in 1947 as 1949 if not for his military service.
                These 21/2 lost years could have meant another 40 or so homers and 150-200 rbi for Gil, plus better stats in every category and we wouldn't be discussing Gil getting in he would have been in the HOF already.
                Lets support Gil Hodges for The Hall of Fame, a true Hall of Famer.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by kramer_47
                  These 21/2 lost years could have meant another 40 or so homers and 150-200 rbi for Gil, plus better stats in every category and we wouldn't be discussing Gil getting in he would have been in the HOF already.
                  He wasn't averaging that in '43 or '47
                  Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
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                  • #39
                    Tony Perez vs. Gil Hodges?

                    Originally posted by RuthMayBond
                    He wasn't averaging that in '43 or '47
                    He wasn't signed till late 1943 then he was called right away into the service, he didn't play fulltime baseball again until 1946. We are saying if he didn't lose those 21/2 years he'd have those years to develop and be as good in 1947 as he was in 1949. No one should be penalized for there military service, Gil was in combat not playing on some base team.
                    Lets support Gil Hodges for The Hall of Fame, a true Hall of Famer.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      As I pointed out in the other thread, the issue is what kept Hodges from being productive until 1949? Was it physical and emotional maturity, in which case I can't see how the military hurt him? Or was it specific baseball skills (the possible example of learning to hit a curve), which time away from the game would influence? I think that question has to be answered to resolve the issue. It would be a heck of a lot easier if he was already an established major leaguer when he went into the service. Instead, he was a 19 year old with 2 major league at bats in a wartime league who, once out of the service, went to the minors. It's not unusual for a guy to not develop until age 24 or 25 like Hodges did in real life, though few who develop that late last as long as he did. I tend to suspect that military service had some effect on his career, but I need a lot more information to try to assess whether it was a little or a full 2 1/2 years' worth or somewhere in between.

                      Jim Albright
                      Last edited by jalbright; 02-13-2006, 08:18 PM.
                      Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                      Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                      A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Tony Perez vs. Gil Hodges?

                        Originally posted by jalbright
                        As I pointed out in the other thread, the issue is what kept Hodges from being productive until 1949? Was it physical and emotional maturity, in which case I can't see how the military hurt him? Or was it specific baseball skills (the possible example of learning to hit a curve), which time away from the game would influence? I think that question has to be answered to resolve the issue. It would be a heck of a lot easier if he was already an established major leaguer when he went into the service. Instead, he was a 19 year old with 2 major league at bats in a wartime league who, once out of the service, went to the minors. It's not unusual for a guy to not develop until age 24 or 25 like Hodges did in real life, though few who develop that late last as long as he did. I tend to suspect that military service had some effect on his career, but I need a lot more information to try to assess whether it was a little or a full 2 1/2 years' worth or somewhere in between.

                        Jim Albright
                        Gil was obviously a bright young talent when Branch Rickey saw fit to bring Gil right to the Major leagues, unfortunately we were in the middle of WW2 and Gil was called to military duty almost immediately. Any young talent that is taken completely away from their sport for 2 1/2 years would have their development retarded by that amount of time. Gil would either be playing for the Dodgers in 1944 or be in the minors learning his new position catching, and learning and developing his hitting. He would have arrived talent wise 2 years earlier, whether it be at catcher or 1st base, and had those 2 years to put up the numbers he did from 1949 on.
                        Lets support Gil Hodges for The Hall of Fame, a true Hall of Famer.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          I understand your theory, and it makes sense. However, it is a theory. I'm looking for some proof. It wasn't like Hodges burst back on the scene like gangbusters after he got out of the military. He had to develop, whether it be a skill, or maturity (physical or mental)--and it took three years. Like I keep saying, if the maturity angle is what made Hodges productive in 1949, I can't give him too much credit for his wartime service, as I fail to see how an uninjured soldier is impeded in those areas by his service. If it was specific baseball skills, then I agree that the time away in the military has an adverse effect.

                          Jim Albright
                          Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                          Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                          A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            A major reason for my previous post is that if we're to see Hodges as equal to Perez, the time he lost to his wartime service has to be equal to an average Gil Hodges season (possibly by moving 1947 and 1948's production earlier in time), not just 2 or 2 1/2 additional seasons of 1947 or even 1948 production. I think Gil's supporters bear the burden of persuading us that the extra time would have resulted in extra production similar to his career numbers, not the lesser numbers of 1947 and 1948. I think I could probably buy that if someone can point to baseball skills he developed to become productive in 1949. This topic had to be covered by The Sporting News or some New York city area sportswriter in 1947 through the period before the 1950 season, most likely in 1949.

                            If you don't introduce evidence bearing on this question, I have to assume the answer is not favorable to Hodges. This may take some time and effort, but please don't act as though merely introducing the facts of his military service makes the argument. That set of facts of Hodges' military and baseball careers can be explained by two quite plausible scenarios: 1) the time away from the game kept him from developing baseball skills he needed to be productive or 2) he needed time to mature physically and/or emotionally (it's hardly unheard of for players to bloom as late as Hodges). I have a hard time seeing how military service in which the man isn't wounded or captured should adversely affect physical or emotional maturity. If I had to guess, I'd guess scenario #1 is at least the lion's share of the explanation--but I shouldn't have to guess, since, as I pointed out above, the information I'm seeking should be available to any of his advocates who are willing to do some work.

                            Jim Albright
                            Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                            Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                            A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Tony Perez vs. Gil Hodges?

                              Originally posted by jalbright
                              I understand your theory, and it makes sense. However, it is a theory. I'm looking for some proof. It wasn't like Hodges burst back on the scene like gangbusters after he got out of the military. He had to develop, whether it be a skill, or maturity (physical or mental)--and it took three years. Like I keep saying, if the maturity angle is what made Hodges productive in 1949, I can't give him too much credit for his wartime service, as I fail to see how an uninjured soldier is impeded in those areas by his service. If it was specific baseball skills, then I agree that the time away in the military has an adverse effect.

                              Jim Albright
                              Anybody that has been in the military will tell you that you grow up real quick in the military, just ask your wife a military veteran, Gil was a grown man when he went in the service no doubt a mature man looking at his accomplishments in the Marines. Looking at his service time as a great success it wasn't immaturity that held him back as a ballplayer but the lack of experience he was cheated out of because of WW2. I think these 2 1/2 years greatly hindered Gil, his major league record could have been much better if it wasn't interrupted and he got to play straight through.
                              Lets support Gil Hodges for The Hall of Fame, a true Hall of Famer.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                That's empty rhetoric and cliche, not evidence.

                                You "grow up" quick in the military... well you also allegedly grow up quick when your parent(s) die when you're young. So can we assume that all players whose parents died when they were young had no problem developing emotional and mental maturity?

                                If so, that's news to me. I lost my father when I was young. I was still running the streets, cutting school, attempting to avoid work by making my money "off the books" and getting into all kinds of perverse variants of the pissing contest. Several years later, I changed my life drastically, but it had nothing to do with my parent's death. Further, I know plenty of immature military men. I assume you forgot about the Abu Ghrab videos- not exactly beacons of maturity.
                                THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

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