Gil Hodges (April 4 1924 - April 2 1972) was an American baseball player in Major League Baseball. He played for the Brooklyn & Los Angeles Dodgers (1943, 1947-61) and New York Mets (1962-63).
Hodges was originally signed by the Dodgers as a third baseman. After serving in the US Marine Corps during World War II, he returned to Brooklyn and was made the backup catcher. Shortly thereafter he was moved to first and eventually became one of the best defensive first basemen in baseball history. He received three MLB Gold Glove Awards between 1957 and 1959.
A member of the World Champion 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, Hodges hit .273 with 370 home runs and 1274 RBI in his career. He held the National League record for grand slams (14) for several years. He is a member of the exclusive club of players that have hit four home runs in a single game. Also, he had more RBI during the 1950's than any other player (1001), and was an 8-time All-Star (1949-55, 1957).
Hodges was one of the original 1962 Mets. A year later, he retired from playing and went on to manage the Washington Senators (1963-67). In 1968 he was brought back to manage the Mets and led them to the World Series Championship in 1969. He died suddently of a heart attack in West Palm Beach, Florida while managing the Mets during Spring Training in 1972, just two days short of his 48th birthday.
In 1960, Milton J. Shapiro published a biography of Hodges, The Gil Hodges Story. In 1969, Hodges and Frank Slocum published a book called The Game Of Baseball.
A bridge between Brooklyn and Rockaway, a park on Carroll St. and a Little League field on MacDonald Ave. in Brooklyn were named after him, as was the high school baseball stadium in his birthplace of Princeton, Indiana.
Hodges was inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 1982.