It is a mystery to many why Gil Hodges isn't in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Hodges was key member of the great Brooklyn Dodger teams of the late 1940's and 1950's. He hit 20 or more home runs in 11 consecutive seasons for the Dodgers, including six seasons of 30 or more home runs.
Hodges made his Major League debut at 19 in 1943, but he would miss the 1944-1945 due to military service in World War II, and didn't make it back to Brooklyn until 1947. 1949 was his break out season, when Hodges hit 23 home runs and knocked in 115 runs. His slash line was .285/.360/.453. He would drive in over 100 runs in seven consecutive seasons. He wasn't just a slugger, but also considered to be one of the best defensive first basemen in the game during his career. 1957-1959, he was award the Gold Glove. On August 31, 1950, he would hit four home runs in one game against the Boston Braves. He would play his last two seasons with the hapless New York Mets. After his playing career was over he managed the Washington Senators and New York Mets. He died while playing golf at the age of 47 on April 2, 1972.
Hodges was an eight-time all-star, he part of two World Series champions. The 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, and the 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers. In 1969, he would manage the Amazing Mets to the World Series championship. During his career he hit 370 home runs with 1,274 RBI. His #14 has been retired by the New York Mets, and he is a member of the New York Mets Hall of Fame.