Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
March 4, 2003
BASEBALL: Gil Hodges For Hero

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) continues its bizarre campaign for Gil Hodges for the Hall of Fame. The Journal doesn't really pretend that Hodges' case is based on his playing accomplishments:

[T]he Hall of Fame is not just about numbers. Its rules plainly state that in addition to athletic ability, membership is also to be measured against "integrity, sportsmanship, character and contributions to the team." In all of these categories Gil Hodges, a decorated Marine veteran of Guadalcanal, is in a league all his own. So much so that Hodges's Hall of Fame candidacy may be the only issue that has found Rudy Giuliani, Yogi Berra, the columnist Richard Reeves, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer and this editorial page all on the same team. In an age where Americans have become cynical about their professional athletes, here's hoping that the game that calls itself the National Pastime might soon have the wit to embrace one of the few within its ranks truly deserving of the word "hero."

Uh, well, yeah, Hodges was a hero and a role model. So was Eddie Grant. Hodges is hardly unique in being a war hero; the Hall has already enshrined combat veterans like Yogi, Ted Williams, Warren Spahn, Grover Alexander, and Bob Lemon. The supplemental criteria to the contrary, it's not the Hall of Integrity and Sportsmanship. Hodges was a fine player and a good man, but the Hall has enough problems managing the criteria it already uses; enshrining a guy primarily for his "integrity, sportsmanship, [and] character" would only add to the confusion. A greatful nation -- and two greatful boroughs -- thank you, Gil. That should be enough.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:42 AM | Baseball 2002-03 | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Gil Hodges in no way belongs in the Hall of Fame. No matter what the criteria may be, when you are the fifth best player on your team (Robinson, Snyder, Campy and Reese) you simply don't belong. Not when you were never even a viable MVP candidate.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at May 17, 2005 10:41 AM
Site Meter 250wde_2004WeblogAwards_BestSports.jpg