Dear Editor: As a lifetime Brooklyn Dodgers fan, I read with interest and sincere sadness, Jim Mancari’s report (Dec. 20) on Gil Hodges’ latest slap in the face by the Baseball Writers of America. Their arrogance and vacuous self aggrandizement totally voids any respect, of which they may believe, they are worthy.
One wonders, just how many of them ever saw Gil play the game as it was meant to be played – with true courage and passion.
Jim speaks eloquently of Gil’s prowess both on and off the field of dreams. Besides being a legitimate star among many great stars of his time, Gil also served our country during World War II in the U.S. Marine Corps in Tinian and Okinawa and received the Bronze Star and commendation for courage under fire for his actions.
Many called him the gentle giant and if you ever shook hands with him you would know why. He was a quiet man who gave his all for the fans, who got their money’s worth just seeing him in action. His impressive list of accomplishes goes on for pages.
The purists in the game, say this was not enough but a true and fair reading of the stats of most who are in Cooperstown will show that others with similar or less comparable stats have been chosen for a plaque on the wall.
Gil was a devout Catholic, a loyal and loving family man, first and always. The fans loved him prayed for him and never booed him. As such, one may ask, was this a detriment or advantage in the minds of the king makers and sport writers club? Did the ugly specter of anti-Catholicism, somehow lift its acrimonious head during the voting procedure? I hope not.