Gil Hodges, Contrary to the 'Experts' Lack of Expertise, Did Dominate

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Gil Hodges, Contrary to the 'Experts' Lack of Expertise, Did Dominate
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
A Replica Model of Gil Hodges' Other Home

In 1949, at the age of 25, Gil Hodges became the Brooklyn Dodgers' regular first baseman. From 1949 through, and including, 1957—which is the last year that the Brooklyn Dodgers existed—Hodges batted .284/.372/.515. He averaged 34 home runs and 115 RBI over a 162-game season.

Hodges belongs in the Hall of Fame. There is no doubt that he is at least as deserving as first basemen Orlando Cepeda and Tony Perez, as well as third baseman Ron Santo

The primary assertion against this though is that Hodges didn't dominate the National League. However, those individuals who saw Hodges play know that is patently false. Those fans and "experts" that never saw Hodges play must look at the record.

The following presents Hodges' home runs and RBI from 1949-54, followed by the first baseman that finished second to Hodges or that topped Hodges that season:

YEAR    PLAYER    HR    RBI

1949    Hodges        23    115
1949    Mize             18    62

1950    Hodges        32    113
1950    Musial          28    109

1951    Hodges       40      103
1951    Torgeson     24      92

1952    Hodges        32     102
1952    Kluszewski   16     86

1953    Hodges         31    122
1953    Kluszewski    40    108

1954    Hodges          42    130
1954    Kluszewski     49    141

During each of those six seasons, Hodges averaged over 33 home runs and more than 114 RBI, never failing to drive in more than 100 runs in any of those years.

Now for the key statistic that apparently has either been overlooked or under emphasized: From 1949-54, the seven regular National League first baseman, not including Hodges, averaged the following:

YEAR    HR    RBI

1949       8      52
1950       14    66
1951       8      51
1952       8      52
1953      18     72
1954      17     70

During the six seasons, Hodges averaged 33 home runs and 114 RBI; the other first baseman averaged 13 home runs and 61 RBI.

To "dominate" means "To tower above." And Hodges was the greatest right-handed defensive first baseman in baseball history.

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