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Gil Hodges: The Brooklyn Bums, the Miracle Mets, and the Extraordinary Life of a Baseball Le gend Hardcover – August 7, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“It’s a perfect fit—a classy book about a classy man.”—Tim McCarver

“Memories are kept alive and new ones made in Clavin and Peary’s splendid, moving tribute to Hodges…All baseball fans will appreciate this fascinating journey into history.”—Larry King

About the Author

Tom Clavin and Danny Peary are the national bestselling coauthors of Roger Maris: Baseball’s Reluctant Hero. Tom has also written or co-written ten other books, as well as being a former reporter for the New York Times. He lives in East Hampton, New York. Danny is a writer/researcher for “The Tim McCarver Show,” and an author of numerous books and articles. He lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: NAL; 1 edition (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 045123586X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451235862
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #987,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This wonderfully detailed... wonderfully nuanced... biography on Gil Hodges... star first baseman of the beloved Brooklyn Dodgers succeeds where other sports books fail when written posthumously decades after the athlete's star shined the brightest. As many baseball fans reading this review are probably ready to shout: "Hey Hodges also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets also... and he also managed the Senators and Miracle Mets!" Of course that's true... and it's all covered in this book. But for any true old-school baseball fan... Gil Hodges will always be synonymous with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Why else would a bridge and school be named after him in New York? (And a bridge in Indiana.)

The author's have definitely done a yeoman's job researching Gil's entire life from Indiana to Brooklyn to Okinawa to Brooklyn to Los Angeles to New York and beyond. I was born in Brooklyn and Gil was one of my heroes... and it's nice to know that Hodges was one star athlete who in his private life... when the cameras were off... was the same stable... strong... religious... family member... and teammate... that a kid like me was led to believe he was. The loving family he came from in Indiana with a Father whose goal was not to have his kids work in the mines... a brother who played ball with Gil as they became lifelong best friends as well as brothers. Gil's prowess as a football and basketball player in high school... and the fact that he even played college basketball while on the Brooklyn Dodgers is covered exquisitely.

Since Gil played before the 24/7 500 channel over exposure of today's sports world... it's reassuring to know that Gil really was a calming presence on his team... as well as other teams as a byproduct of being a "peaceful" enforcer.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a real tear-jerker, especially if you are a Gil Hodges fan and know what a great human being he was, and how underappreciated he has been by the baseball writers and the Veterans Committee for the Hall of Fame. Comparing him to the likes of Lou Gehrig and Jackie Robinson as one of the finest individuals ever to play the game, aside from his accomplishments as a player, is not a mistake. The longer he goes without finding a resting place in the Hall of Fame only serves to magnify his image as an unappreciated saint who helped his fellow players reach their highest level while downplaying himself and quietly doubting his own remarkable contributions.

The book is full of quotes from family, friends and players, the people who knew him well and who wanted the world to know how he affected their lives; all remarking what a remarkable man he was. It brings you right into the times he lived and gives you the feeling that you were there too, getting a glimpse into his mind and bringing him back to life. If he hadn't been struck down by a heart attack two days before his 48th birthday, and had continued managing, we all believe he would be acknowledged as one of baseballs greatest names.

In these days of super conditioning and steroid abuse there are numerous players who have surpassed Hodges numbers, but not one who can match his character as an individual and inspiration to young boys of all ages, including this one who is almost 65. God bless Gil Hodges, one of the greatest inspirations in my life, too.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lord how I wanted to give this book a 5 star review. When I was 10 years old, in 1959, I became enchanted with my hometown Los Angeles Dodgers, who went from 7th place in 1958 to win the World Series in 1959. My favorite player was Gil Hodges, their brilliant first baseman. As a 10 year old, I knew nothing of the heartbreak caused by the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn. Now, as a baseball historian, I totally understand that. But, to me, they were gods.

This book is thrilling to read, but fails to win my fifth star because of the endless statistics. As a lifelong baseball fan, I do live with statistics. And some are necessary throughout the story. But, have the authors ever heard of putting the yearly and lifetime statistics at the end, as most biographies do? This would have been much cleaner, and made the story much easier to read. I have read another review of the book who complained about the inclusion of Hodges' childhood. Really? This is a biography, not just a telling of his baseball career. The inclusion of his childhood, his military service, and his family is vital in understanding the man. That is the soul of this book, and very important.

I did enjoy this book. I just wish the authors had limited the endless statistics within the text, and put them at the end. Also, they should have included pictures!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tom Clavin and Danny Peary have written a very commendable follow-up to their previous biography on Roger Maris with their new one on former Brooklyn Dodger icon and New York Mets' Manager Gil Hodges.

Hodges was a very respected member of Roger Kahn's fabled Boys of Summer and the authors do a wonderful job in covering Gil's years with the Brooklyn Dodgers. If you were fortunate to live during this time period you will have the chance to relive these years of the Dodgers' dynasty from 1947 through 1957 when the team moved to Los Angeles. There is some controversy as to which year was the greatest for the Dodgers. Some insist 1949 was their best year while others opt for 1953 even though they achieved their only Brooklyn World Championship in 1955.

Surviving members relate their anecdotes of those years in addition to how members of the team related to ownership and sportswriters such as Dick Young and the previously mentioned Roger Kahn. Whether majority owner Walter O'Malley or urban planner Robert Moses was ultimately responsible for the team's flight to Tinsel Town remains a matter of debate. I believe the author's ultimately place the blame on Moses.

Hodges ended his playing career with the expansion New York Mets which entered the league in 1962 along with the Houston Colt 45s. He received his managerial baptism with the expansion Washington Senators prior to moving on to take the helm with the New York Mets where they astonished the baseball world by defeating the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series in 1969. Authors Clavin and Peary thoroughly cover both the playing and managerial career of Gil Hodges throughout this book.

I did find one minor mistake in the book.
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