2) Mets manager Gil Hodges
Gil Hodges should be in the Hall of Fame. That is the clearest message to send when talking about Hodges.
Hodges was a power-hitting first baseman, slugging 370 career home runs, for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. He was an eight-time all star and won 2 Gold Glove awards. Hodges was the big run-producer in the middle of the lineup for the Dodgers in Brooklyn when he averaged well over 100 RBI per season.
Hodges lost two seasons due to his time in the Marines during WWII and still put together some Hall of Fame worthy numbers. His value to the Dodgers was immeasurable and was the quiet leader on a team of big names like Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Carl Furillo, and, of course, Jackie Robinson. Yet for some reason, he is the one who has repeatedly, and undeservedly, gotten overlooked.
He was an original Met in 1962. But at 38 years of age, he was already three seasons away from being productive, yet hit nine home runs in 54 games playing part-time. He retired a short time into the ’63 season after just 11 games.