Gil Hodges was always one of those players I liked looking at as a kid. Again, he’s made it to the Veterans Committee Ballot. The only thing is does he belong in the Hall of Fame?
Why he belongs:
8 All Star Games-Other players with 8 All Star Games:
Nolan Ryan (!)
Bob Feller (!)
Bob Gibson (!)
Finished in the MVP balloting 9 times, 9 times out of 11 years in a row
3 Gold Gloves
6 times in top 10 in Slugging %, best finish was 4th
7 times in top 10 in Games Played, leading twice in 1951 & 1954
10 times top 10 in Home Runs, best finish was 2nd
7 times top 10 in RBI’s, best finish was 2nd
5 times top 10 in Walks, best finish was 2nd
Top 100 All Time in Home Runs (good enough for #70), more Home Runs than Ralph Kiner, Joe DiMaggio & Yogi Berra
Lifetime postseason average of .267
7 World Series appearances, 2 rings, most famously in 1955
He was in the HOF ballot 15 times. His highest finish was 1981. He finished with 60.1% of the voting, 60 votes shy. He was 3rd place that year. Bob Gibson was elected that year. Don Drysdale (a future Hall of Famer) received only 2 more votes than Hodges. That year he received MORE votes than TEN eventual Hall of Famers: Harmon Killebrew (!), Hoyt Wilhelm, Juan Marichal, Nellie Fox, Red Schoendienst, Jim Bunning, Luis Aparicio, Richie Ashburn, Orlando Cepeda & Bill Mazeroski. So according to the balloting that year, Gil Hodges was better than all of those players.
Also, he was the manager of the 1969 Mets, the Amazin’ Mets.
Why he doesn’t
The highest he ever finished in the MVP voting was #7 in 1957.
As a manager, he finished with a career record of .467.
While the 3 Gold Gloves are nice, 10 first basemen have more, none of which are currently in the Hall of Fame.
There was one category where he dominated most-Strikeouts. He finished in the top 10 11 times, leading in 1951.
The career numbers really weren’t that impressive. He finished with less than 2,000 hits at 1,921. His 1105 runs are 237 on the all-time list. I see him being out of the Top 250 in the next 5 years. 295 doubles. That ties #424. Even the RBI’s with 1274 are at #115.
The Hall-of-Fame Monitor lists Hodges at 83. A Hall of Famer is 100 or higher.
Similar players according to baseball-refernce.com include Norm Cash, Rocky Colavito and Tino Martinez. There isn’t a single Hall-of-Famer in the 10 players compared with him.
In conclusion… This comes down to one thing. Do Hodges’ great accomplishments-3 rings (2 as a players, one as a manager), 370 home runs, 8 All-Star Games-make up for his short-comings elsewhere? There are at least 2 players I would put in the HOF before Hodges (Kaat & Oliva). I don’t think this is Hodges’ year.