Today’s tribute to the 1973 Mets goes to reserve catcher, Ron Hodges. Hodges came up to the Mets during the 1973 season, and hit .260, with 1 home run and 18 RBI in 45 games. Hodges played his entire 12 year career with the Mets, and was always a back up catcher. His lifetime statistics are .240, 19 HR, 147 RBI. In the 1973 post-season, Hodges had only at bat. It came in the World Series against Oakland, and Hodges walked. Hodges’s best statistical season was 1977 when he hit .265 in 66 games as Jerry Grote‘s back up.
Hodges did not have many stellar moments as a Met, but as someone who witnessed his entire career, I have one special memory of him. The play in the video below is known as the “ball on the wall” play. It came on September 20th, 1973 season, when the Mets were on their amazing ascent to the division championship. They were locked in an extra-innings duel with the Pirates at Shea, when this play happened in the top of the 13th.
Hodges was the catcher on the play, and tagged out Richie Zisk at the plate to keep the game tied. The Mets won the game in the bottom of the 13th, and continued on their way to the NLCS.
Ron Hodges is now 64 years old. Since his last season in 1984, he has not been seen much in Queens. In any case, Hodges was a serviceable reserve catcher, whose loyal service to the Mets goes largely unrecognized. Here’s a Rising Apple hat tip to Ron Hodges, a dedicated member of the 1973 pennant-winning Mets.