The 20 greatest Dodgers of all time, No. 11: Gil Hodges
We recently asked you to list your choices for the 10 greatest Dodgers of all time, and vote you did, as we received an amazing 12,231 ballots. So many people voted that we have decided to expand the list from the top 10 to the top 20. Each weekday at 11 a.m. PDT, a new player will be listed as we count down all 20.
Remember, any Dodger, Brooklyn or L.A., was eligible, including managers, owners, announcers, etc. Points were assigned based on where you listed the person on the ballot. Your first choice received 12 points, second choice 10, third place eight, all the way down to one point for 10th place.
So without further ado, here is No. 11:
No. 11: Gil Hodges (18 first-place votes, 20,231 points)
Why isn’t Gil Hodges in the Hall of Fame?
The man is an eight-time All Star, hit 370 home runs, hit .273 with an on-base percentage of .359, is one of only 16 people to hit four homers in one game, was an integral part of two World Series championships as a first baseman and managed the Miracle Mets to the 1969 World Series title.
OK, we’re supposed to be focusing on his Dodgers career here. So, for the Dodgers he ranks 14th in slugging percentage (.488), fourth in games played (2,006), fifth in runs scored (1,088), ninth in hits (1,884), ninth in doubles (294), second in homers (361) and second in RBIs (1,254).
He was a key member of the 1955 and 1959 World Series title teams. He won three gold gloves at first base, and would have had more, except they didn’t start awarding gold gloves until near the end of his career.
Hodges died of a heart attack in 1972 at the age of 49.
After his death, many of his former Brooklyn teammates talked about what a great person and player he was.
Jackie Robinson: “He was the core of the Brooklyn Dodgers.”
Duke Snider: “Gil was a great player, but an even greater man.”
Don Drysdale: “Gil’s death absolutely shattered me. I just flew apart. I didn’t leave my apartment in Texas for three days. I didn’t want to see anybody. I couldn’t get myself to go to the funeral. It was like I’d lost a part of my family.”
Get our high school sports newsletter
Prep Rally is devoted to the SoCal high school sports experience, bringing you scores, stories and a behind-the-scenes look at what makes prep sports so popular.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.