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Stengel: Hodges May Coach for Mets

Jan. 31, 1963 - If 38-year-old Gil Hodges (left) can’t drag his aching legs out to first base next season, he’ll probably wind up as a coach for the New York Mets. “If he can’t make it from the shoulders down because of his bad knee,” said manager Casey Stengel (right) today, “then I don’t see why we can’t take advantage of what he has from the shoulders up.” Hodges underwent surgery for the removal of cartilage in his left knee late last season, but he’d like to give it a try, and Stengel would like to see him on first base, too. “If Gil isn’t crippled, I may alternate him with Tim Harkness at first base,” Stengel said. He also pointed out that he had 18-year-old Ed Kranepool waiting in the wings for a chance. “Do you know a better fielding first baseman than Gil?” Casey asked, and then answered his own question: “Of course not. Imagine what he could teach that young fellow Kranepool we paid all that bonus money to. Gil is a smart fellow. The other players are always coming to him for tips on this and that. You bet they’d listen to him.”


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