Gil Hodges Isn’t A Hall Of Famer

The National Baseball Hall of Fame has announced the players eligible for vote by the Veteran’s Committee. Yes, it’s technically the Golden Day Era Committee, but it’ll always be the Veteran’s Committee.

Perhaps the biggest name on the list is Gil Hodges.

If you’re a New York Mets fan or Brooklyn Dodgers fan, it at least seems that way. For decades, we’ve heard people wax poetic about Hodges. There’s good reason for it too.

Hodges was a fan favorite. He was an eight time All-Star and three time Gold Glover. He won two World Series as a player including being part of the iconic 1955 Dodgers.

Hodges also pulled off a miracle. He took a Mets team who was the laughingstock of laughingstocks and led them to the 1969 World Series title.

There are many things you can write and say about Hodges. Unfortunately, one of them isn’t Hall of Famer.

As the story goes, Hodges would’ve been one if not for a Ted Williams power trip. Hodges had the votes to be indicted by the Veteran’s Committee, but Williams disallowed Roy Campanella‘s vote because he wasn’t present at the meeting.

If Campanella was there instead of the hospital, Hodges would be in the Hall of Fame. Except, he wasn’t, and honestly, he shouldn’t be.

You’ll see his ardent supporters making a case for him. They’ll point to the 100 RBI seasons and where he was on the home run leaderboard. There’s other arguments as well. While it sounds good, it masks how he falls short.

Over his 18 year career, Hodges amassed a 43.9 WAR and 120 OPS+. Looking at Hall of Fame indicators, Hodges had a 33.7 WAR7 and 38.8 JAWS.

The average Hall of Fame first baseman has a 66.9 WAR, 42.7 WAR7, and a 54.8 JAWS. These marks leave Hodges well short.

By WAR, he trails non-Hall of Famers like Joe Judge and Fred Tenney. By WAR7, he trails Ed Konetchy and Jack Fournier. By JAWS, he trails Norm Cash and Dolph Camilli.

Going to OPS+, Hodges trails Ryan Klesko and Kevin Youkilis. A defensive whiz, he has fewer Gold Gloves than J.T. Snow and Adrián González.

This isn’t to denigrate these players or Hodges, but none of them are Hall of Famers. The same goes for players like Will Clark, Mark Grace, and Don Mattingly, each of whom had better careers which still didn’t reach the level of the Hall of Fame.

Maybe with a longer managerial career, Hodges moves above them and into Hall of Fame status. However, even with that miracle run, he was 93 games under .500 in his nine years as a manager.

Overall, Hodges is an iconic figure for two franchises. He had a great career, one that shouldn’t be criticized. Unfortunately, it was one short of being Hall of Fame worthy.

5 Replies to “Gil Hodges Isn’t A Hall Of Famer”

  1. SocraticGadfly says:

    Well, the Hodges hue and cry is much less than it was a long time ago. OTOH, with Red Tony La Russa willing to shove undeserving players of his own first managing era in the door, who knows ….

    And, the Hodges cult isn’t as bad as Dodgers fans pushing Garvey.

    1. SocraticGadfly says:

      Sadly, he’s in. Other “comps,” per your piece? Mark Grace. Andres Galarraga.

      1. metsdaddy says:

        It was a mistake

  2. Marc says:

    Oh please, he and Vic Power were considered the best defensive first baseman of their era. Besides the stats, he was on all those winning teams. Undoubtedly a HOFer. What was Williams beef?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Yes, ignore the stats and just start randomly comparing players to the immortal Vic Power.

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