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Hodges Replaces Vernon as Senators’ Manager

May 22, 1963 - Gil Hodges (pictured during spring training) of the New York Mets was signed today to replace Mickey Vernon as manager of the Washington Senators. The 39-year-old Hodges, who belted 370 home runs during a 17-year career with the Dodgers and the Mets, signed for the remainder of the current season and for 1964. Hodges, who had been on the Met disabled list because of a knee injury, said he would be a nonplaying manager — thus ending a career during which he was one of baseball’s feared sluggers. The big first baseman set a National League career record for grand-slam homers with 14. The American League record for most career grand slams is 23, set by Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees. The Senators’ management signed Hodges with a promise that it wouldn’t expect “the impossible” in trying to improve the club’s record. The Senators are last in the American League. Vernon, 45, was moved into the Senators’’ front office as an administrative assistant. His dismissal as manager was not unexpected. The Senators, who finished 10th in 1962, had lost 9 of their last 10 games. Today, Washington general manager George Selkirk said: “I expect Gil to get our club hustling, but I don’t expect he’ll achieve the impossible. It was not a pleasant task to replace Vernon, but we reached the point where new blood was needed.” Hodges, asked how he planned to run the club, declared: “I was brought up to believe there is a curfew and that it is a good thing to observe. I have no immediate changes in mind, and I’ll just have to play it by ear.” According to today’s announcement, the Mets received nothing from Washington for Hodges — except good will. However, there was some speculation the Senators may give the Mets Jimmy Piersall, who has been of little use to Washington this year.


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