Gil Hodges "The Brooklyn Bums, the Miracle Mets, and the Extraordinary Life of a Baseball Legend" Book By Tom Clavin & Danny Peary. Published in 2012
GIL HODGES - The Brooklyn Bums, The Miracle Mets, and The Extraordinary Life of a Baseball Legend
By Tom Clavin & Danny Peary Published by New American Library 2012
As a longtime Mets fan, I would naturally welcome any book about Gil Hodges. However, I believe this is not any ordinary Mets book. Authors Tom Clavin and Danny Peary have re-ignited the passion, emotion and memories about baseball’s past and the role of the Mets former skipper Gil Hodges.
This is not a baseball trivia book or just a book about the Mets. It’s a 380 page book about one of baseball’s most stand-up and stand-out performers. It’s a book about family and a professional baseball career. I’m proud as a longstanding Mets fan to have Gil Hodges as part of the Mets history. And, as the book’s purpose also states, I hope Gil can be voted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame in the coming years.
However, there are a couple of facts that “hit” me as a present day Mets fan. As we all know, the Mets owners, the Wilpon and Katz families, believe the Mets were born out of the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants traditions. As a result, they named the entrance to CitiField, the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. In my opinion, the real “connection” to the past to the present day Mets is Gil Hodges. He played for the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Mets then later managed for the Mets. After reading this book, I really feel the Wilpons have once again failed in bringing forth the real Mets tradition.
The book rekindles all kinds of events that unrolled in baseball’s past. I was not familiar with 90 percent of these stories – which included lots and lots of Yankees and Dodgers history. Also, I had no idea about Gil’s personal and professional life in and around Brooklyn. (I’m an old Brooklyn resident).
I wish as I read and reviewed the 29 chapters of the book that chapter titles would be included. That way, I could more easily review the book and recall different facts and events that happened to Gil and his family along the way.
Do current Mets fan realize Gil passed away at only age 48? It seems that cigarettes played a role in his surprise heart attack in 1972 while he was managing the Mets.
This was days after he approved a Mets trade bringing Rusty Staub from the Expos to New York.
Who took over for Gil as the new Mets manager after his death? I had forgotten that Yoggi Berra became the Mets new manager right after Gil’s passing.
Without a doubt, this book is a comprehensive look at baseball’s past and the personal/professional life of Gil Hodges because of the collaborative writing and editing of Tom Clavin and Danny Peary. But it would not be complete what so ever without the cooperation of Gil’s wife and children.
Jackie Robinson said that Gil Hodges was the “core of the Brooklyn Dodgers. It’s a saddening experience, losing a great man like Gil”.
“Gil was a great player, but an even greater man, “ Duke snider stated. “I can’t believe he’s gone at such an early age.”
This book earns an "A" grade from us. You would have to add a bunch of fiction in order to write a better book.
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