On Saturday night a Dodger Stadium, a ceremony decades in the making finally happened. After being posthumously elected to baseball’s Hall-of-Fame this past December, the Dodgers retired Gil Hodges’ number 14.
Hodges finally earning the nod from Hall-of-Fame voters opened the door for him to join the likes of Roy Campanella, Duke Snider, and Sandy Koufax, and others, as players to have their numbers retired. The organization has an unwritten rule that that players must make it to Cooperstown in order to get their number retired.
Our Dodgers Nation team was in attendance for the celebratory evening and had a chance to talk to Dodgers team historian Mark Langill about why it took Cooperstown so long to recognize Hodges.
Langill pointed out how Hodges passing away in 1972 created an “out of sight, out of mind” situation. The historian explained Hodges, who passed away at just 48-year-old, never had the opportunity to pursue a broadcasting career or continue to work in baseball after his 18-year playing career and his nine-year managerial career.
Hodges resumé includes eight All-Star selections, three Gold Gloves, and batting in the middle of the order for a pair of World Series winning Dodgers teams. The first baseman logged seven-straight seasons with at least 100 RBI (1949-1955).
It was a long time coming, but Hodges is finally where he belongs. Among the greats.
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