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MLB: Former Teammates Rave about Hodges

May 22, 1963 - His former teammates predicted to a man today that Gil Hodges (pictured #14 in 1955) will do an outstanding job as manager of the Washington Senators. “I roomed with him for six years,” said Dodger pitcher Don Drysdale, “and that’s one of the greatest breaks I ever got in baseball. It was one of my great experiences. He’s the kind of guy who would demand respect from anybody — one of the most respected men in the game.” Met manager Casey Stengel said: “I think he’ll make a good manager because he has a good disposition. Also, he has young players over there, and he can teach them. I had him teaching here for me, and he did a wonderful job with the kids, who respect him. He is very good with the glove and with hitting and for running on the bases considering the average speed he has. He has an outstanding record off the field with the baseball public and a great reputation with the officials. Everyone has a high regard for him.” Dodger pitcher Sandy Koufax (pictured #32) said: “He can’t help but do well. He knows the game as well as anybody, and you’ve got to want to play for the guy.” Hodges, a Hoosier who played his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1943 before entering the Marine Corps for service in World War II, loves Brooklyn as much as Brooklyn still loves him. He married Joan Lombardo, a Brooklyn gal, and when the Dodger management defected to Los Angeles in 1957 and many Dodger players transferred their homes to the West Coast, Hodges continued to live in Brooklyn. He still does, and he operates a bowling lane there as well. One thing is for certain — Gil Hodges goes to Washington with the affection and best wishes of all who know him.

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