Hodges, who died in 1972, has a double claim to fame: he played for the Brooklyn/L.A. Dodgers in the late '40s and '50s, thus qualifying as one of the ``Boys of Summer,'' and he managed the ``Miracle Mets'' of 1969 to their first world championship. A taciturn and calm person from Indiana farm country, he was deeply religious and gave his first loyalty to his family. In the world of baseball he was respected and loved. Brooklyn-born Amoruso, a longtime Hodges fan who has produced, written and directed for television, here offers a so-called biography that is little more than a compilation of encomiums from former teammates, players whom Hodges managed and residents of his home town. The book hardly discusses Hodges's minor league years, nor traces his major league career chronologically. One senses that the purpose here is primarily to make a plea for Hodges to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Photos. 25,000 first printing. (Sept.)
Amoruso, a writer, producer, and director, traces the life of baseball legend Hodges. In addition to his sparkling defensive play, Hodges was a clutch hitter--his two runs-batted-in during the seventh game of the 1955 World Series provided the Dodgers their only championship in Brooklyn. Amoruso uses interviews with Hodges's teammates from the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1950s, as well as players he managed as skipper of the 1969 New York Mets, in this appreciation of a man who tackled the tough issues both on and off the field.-- Jim Paxman, Tennessee State Univ., Nashville
YA-- Amoruso creates a moving portrait of his childhood idol. Hodges was not only a model first baseman and a shrewd manager, but also, as testified to by dozens of baseball's finest players, a great man. YAs will enjoy this account of his life for, although he died in 1972, his is still a heroic presence. Readers who are confronted daily with the barroom antics and outrageous salary demands of their favorite athletes will be sorry they missed the days when men like Hodges played the game.