Monday, June 10, 2013
no. 183 - gil hodges
Who is the man: Gil Hodges led the Mets to a third-place finish one year after the team won the World Series in 1969. Sadly, the 1971 season would be his final season as a manager. He would suffer a fatal heart attack in April of 1972.
Can ya dig it: It's difficult for me to look at Hodges the player and Hodges the manager as the same person. Hodges the player looked youthful and vibrant. Hodges the manager looked haggard.
Right on: Hodges is no older than 46 in this photograph. That's scary to me.
You see this cat Hodges is a bad mother: Hodges was a powerful slugger for the Dodgers. For a time he held the National League record for both career home runs by a right-handed hitter and grand slams.
Shut your mouth: There's a famous moment in Hodges' managerial career with the Mets that took place during a game in July 1969. After seeing outfielder Cleon Jones fail to hustle after a ball, Hodges walked out of the dugout, onto the field, past the pitcher's mound and into left field. He led Jones back to the dugout and Jones didn't play the rest of the game. There is a video in which Hodges' wife and others talk about that incident, which some say turned the Mets into the Miracle Mets.
No one understands him but his woman: During an argument in which Hodges' wife, Joan, complained that he wasn't listening to her, she said, "I'm going to get uniforms for all the children, and I'm going to take the rugs out of this whole house and put Astroturf down. Maybe then I can have your undivided attention."
(A word about the back): The "first year in pro ball" feature is a little deceptive on these manager cards. 1963 was Hodges' first year of managing in the pros, but it obviously wasn't his first year in pro ball.