donderdag 13 juni 2013

Gil Hodges: Review

Gil Hodges' biography by Tom Clavin and Danny Peary tells us about the guy born in Indiana, son of a miner. A guy who grew up playing sports and wanted to play basketball and later in his life be a basketball coach. He got famous in another sport: baseball. Not only as a player of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, but also as the coach of the World Series winning 'Miracle' Mets.
I found it hard to get into the book at first because the writers use a lot of people to describe Gil as he was in his childhood and high school years. Many people's names I could care less about are printed and there is too much 'recalls', 'remembers', 'tells us', 'according to'.
But after a few chapters it gets better and it's fun to read about that silent, hard working guy with the big hands. How everybody in Brooklyn learned to love him and even during his slumps cheered him. Also interesting is to read about the move to LA and the years they played in the Coliseum.
Hodges' last few playing years with the Mets and his first managerial job with the Senators is a bit sad. It's obvious he had problems with players who didn't give it 100% like he did when he played. It's interesting as well because that quiet, hard working and obeying player turned into a coach who would be ejected more than once.
The march to fame of the Miracle Mets is great to read. The World Series win in 1969 was the crown of a great life in baseball. I agree with the writers: it's weird Hodges has never become a Hall of Famer. Maybe 2014 is his year? I certainly hope so!

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