Gil Hodges: A Hall of Fame Life

Gil Hodges: A Hall of Fame Life

by Mort Zachter
Gil Hodges: A Hall of Fame Life

Gil Hodges: A Hall of Fame Life

by Mort Zachter


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In descriptions of athletes, the word “hero” is bandied about and liberally attached to players with outstanding statistics and championship rings. Gil Hodges: A Hall of Fame Life is the story of a man who epitomized heroism in its truest meaning, holding values and personal interactions to be of utmost importance throughout his life—on the diamond, as a marine in World War II, and in his personal and civic life. A New York City icon and, with the Brooklyn Dodgers, one of the finest first basemen of all time, Gil Hodges (1924–72) managed the Washington Senators and later the New York Mets, leading the 1969 “Miracle Mets” to a World Series championship. A beloved baseball star, Hodges was also an ethical figure whose sturdy values both on and off the field once prompted a Brooklyn priest to tell his congregation to “go home, and say a prayer for Gil Hodges” in order to snap him out of the worst batting slump of his career.

Mort Zachter examines Hodges’s playing and managing days, but perhaps more important, he unearths his true heroism by emphasizing the impact that Hodges’s humanity had on those around him on a daily basis. Hodges was a witty man with a dry sense of humor, and his dignity and humble sacrifice sometimes masked a temper that made Joe Torre refer to him as the “Quiet Inferno.” The honesty and integrity that made him so popular to so many remained his defining elements. Firsthand interviews of the many soldiers, friends, family, former teammates, players, and managers who knew and respected Hodges bring the totality of his life into full view, providing a rounded appreciation for this great man and ballplayer.

Purchase the audio edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780803211247
Publisher: Nebraska
Publication date: 03/01/2015
Pages: 496
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Mort Zachter is a former tax attorney and adjunct tax professor at New York University. His first book, Dough: A Memoir, won the 2006 Association of Writers and Writing Programs Book Prize for nonfiction.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


Prologue: His Reputation Preceded Him

HOME—Princeton and Petersburg (1924–43)

1. Coal Miner’s Son

2. The Twig, the Branch, and the Lip

AWAY—The Pacific (1944–45); Newport News (1946)

3. Okinawa

4. Newport News

HOME—Brooklyn (1947–57)

5. Hanging On

6. Breaking Through

7. Four in One, One for Four

8. Great Expectations

9. A Bitter Uniqueness

10. Say a Prayer

11. The Day Next Year Arrived

12. Where in America Would You See That?

13. The Last Season

AWAY—Los Angeles (1958–61)

14. The Worst Place Ever

15. World Champions

HOME—Manhattan (1962)

16. Casey

AWAY—Washington DC (1963–67)

17. In the Cellar

18. Off the Floor

19. On the Doorstep of Respectability

HOME—Queens (1968–72)

20. The Mets Get Serious

21. Contenders

22. Miracle

23. Struggles in the Spotlight

24. Easter Sunday

Epilogue: A Life

Afterword: Hodges and the Hall





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