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Gil Hodges: The Brooklyn Bums, the Miracle Mets, and the Extraordinary Life of a Baseball Legend

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  • Posted September 3, 2012

    I am a life-long Brooklyn Dodgers fan, and Gil Hodges was my fav

    I am a life-long Brooklyn Dodgers fan, and Gil Hodges was my favorite player. I am therefore very sorry to report that this is not a good book. It drones on incessantly with a blow-by-blow account of virtually every game that Gil's Dodgers, Senators and Mets ever played, which is largely filler that fails to compensate for the lack of sufficient insight into Hodges as a person. This was a very complicated man, very quiet yet churning up inside, and he deserves far more analysis of what made him the way he was. Not a single psychologist was consulted. The book is especially short on Hodges's wartime experiences, and very few of the people he served with were tracked down and interviewed. It remains a mystery as to how much actual combat he saw on Okinawa and how it affected him. There are also a few obvious errors -- the Dodgers won the penant in 1916, not 1915 (p. 58), and the Yankees defeated the Giants in the 1951 World Series in six games, not five (p. 132). Such sloppiness makes one wonder about the accuracy of the more obscure detail that fills up so much of the book. The authors admit that it took them only two years, which is a pretty short time to be researching such a difficult subject who personally revealed so little of himself. The chapters about Gil's early life are the only really good ones, and the final chapter analyzing why he deserves to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame is excelllent. The rest is mostly boring filler. I hope someone eventually writes a really good, insightful biography of this extraordinary man, because this isn't it.

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