In the bottom of the 2nd inning, Gil Hodges came to bat with one out. Thee Brooklyn Dodgers legend, who was one of the most beloved National League New York ball players ever, was closing out his career back in New York with the Mets. He was brought back for nostalgia as well as being a gate attraction.
Hodges took Sadecki deep, hitting a HR over the left center field wall. It was his 9th HR of the year putting the Mets up 1-0. But this HR was historic as it was the last Hodges would hit in his fine career. It was HR #370 putting him at tenth on the all time list up to that point. It also put him at first on the National League list for HRs by a right handed batter.
After the game Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner interviewed Hodges on his show Kiners Korner. Ralph reminded the soft spoken slugger, that he had broken the NL Right handed HR record previously held by Kiner himself.
Hodges would play in just eight more games that season & retire in April of 1963. His legend would be made when he returned as Mets manager in 1968 leading to the Amazing Mets World Series win in 1969.
|Ralph Kiner- Kiners Korner|
Another highlight of the day was in a sloppy 8th inning, where the Cards made two errors & allowed a bunt single, leading to six Mets runs. The runs were high lighted by "Hot Rod" Kanhel's only career grand slam HR. It came off the Cards Bobby Shantz. Kanel would hit just six career HRs.
The Mets Charlie Neal also hit a HR that day & Felix Mantilla had a two run double, all helping Craig get the complete game win in front of 14,515