Joan Hodges Remembering the Queen of Brooklyn Baseball

Gil Hodges’s spouse Joan died on 17 September. She was 95 years outdated. (Photograph: Getty Photographs)

For the previous two weeks, tributes have been pouring in for the late Queen Elizabeth II, who died on September 8 on the age of 96.

We at the moment are mourning the lack of one other queen. Although “Queen” could not have been a part of her official title, she was actually the “Queen of Brooklyn Baseball.”

Joan Hodges, now the widow of Baseball Corridor of Famer Gil Hodges, died on September 17 after a chronic sickness. She was 10 days shy of her subsequent birthday, and – like Queen Elizabeth – she would have been 96 years outdated.

“We’re grateful that Joan was in a position to see Gill inducted into the Corridor of Fame in July,” New York Mets group president Sandy Alderson stated in a press release. “It meant so much to him and all the Mets and Hodges household.

“She was a real baseball fan and nonetheless follows two of her favourite groups, the Mets and Dodgers. We ship our condolences to her daughters, Irene and Cindy; her son, Gil Jr.; and the remainder of the Hodges household.

In life, timing is all the pieces. For many years after Gil Hodges handed away in 1972, followers rallied behind his Corridor-of-Fame trigger in order that his widow Joan may nonetheless be round to just accept the distinction on her husband’s behalf.

Given his sickness, with Gill lacking on the Veterans Committee poll yearly over time, hope appeared bleak.

But final December, Joan lastly acquired the long-pending name that her husband would take his rightful place in Cooperstown, New York.

“I used to be so thrilled,” Joan informed me the morning after the vote. “He is very certified.”

These few phrases embodied the affected person ready Joan was compelled to endure.

Greater than 10 years in the past, I interviewed Joan after somebody within the native baseball group tracked down her contact data. The telephone name is likely one of the most precious experiences of my sports activities writing profession.

Joan, who grew up in East Flatbush and adored Our Woman Assist of Christians, in Midwood, has many nice reminiscences of her husband’s profession as a participant with the Brooklyn Dodgers and as supervisor of the 1969 Miracle Mets. I remembered

Ebbets Subject was a house away from dwelling for Joan, who made her scorecard on paper to go together with the sport, most notably Gill’s at-bat. On August 31, 1950, Gill scored 4 dwelling runs in a single

Single recreation, and Joan recollects the joy of the second.

“I could not see!” he stated. “However impulsively I heard, ‘Jonnie! Joni! Take your eyes off your eyes! Look the place it’s. Central Subject!'”

When the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles after the 1957 season, Joan had a tough time adjusting at first and, actually, spent the primary months out of her suitcase. Brooklyn was all the pieces she had recognized for her whole life.

“I used to be a Dodgers fan ever since I knew what baseball was,” Joan stated. “I used to be nonetheless with the Dodgers, however being away from Brooklyn was an enormous blow.”

Quickly although, Gil returned to the Mets as a participant after which as their supervisor. The administration spent as a lot time on Gill as enjoying. Sooner or later, Joan accuses Gil of not listening to a phrase whereas attempting to fill her kids’s lives.

Joan stated, “I will get the uniforms for all the youngsters, and I will take the carpet out of this complete home and put the astroturf down.” “Perhaps then I can have your undivided consideration!”

Gill handled all of the gamers like his personal kids. It was this spirit of self-discipline that allowed him to behave as a miracle employee in reworking the Mets from “lovable losers” to 1969 World Sequence champions.

“It was like he adopted the primary graders and made them faculty graduates,” Joan recalled.

On the time of our name, Joan questioned why Gil was by no means put within the corridor. Whereas he stated that he tried to not focus on the matter, he additionally stated that not many days glided by with out listening to something associated to the lapse.

Ultimately although, Joan’s prayers had been answered. On July 24, she sat quietly at her Brooklyn dwelling on Bedford Avenue—the identical place the place she and Gil lived when he performed for the Dodgers—and watched MLB Community as Gil achieved baseball immortality as he was inducted into the Corridor of Fame. it was carried out.

As soon as once more, timing is all the pieces. Joan knew she nonetheless had just a little extra time left to benefit from the love and respect she had proven her Corridor-of-Fame husband over the previous few months.

The Queen of Brooklyn baseball is now reunited together with her King in Paradise.

Hopefully now, Gil will give Joan the “undivided consideration” she’s at all times been on the lookout for!

contact Jim Mankari through electronic mail at,

Supply hyperlink