Gil Hodges, the fourth winningest manager in Mets franchise history, was elected to the first class of Hall of Fame inductees, recording 13.7% of the vote.
After being selected by the New York Mets in the 1961 Expansion Draft, Hodges became one of the original 1962 Mets, hitting the first home run in franchise history. After 11 games with the Mets in 1963, Hodges was traded to the Washington Senators for outfielder Jimmy Piersall. Hodges eventually replaced Mickey Vernon as Senators manager. He managed Washington through 1967 but never recorded a winning record.
In 1968 Hodges was brought back to New York to manage the Mets, and while the team only posted a 73–89 record it was nonetheless the best mark in their seven years of existence up to that point.
In 1969, he led the “Miracle Mets” to the World Series championship, defeating the Baltimore Orioles four-games-to-one. Hodges was named The Sporting News’ Manager of the Year.
On April 2, 1972, Easter Sunday, Hodges suffered a fatal heart attack. Joe Pignatano later told the media: “I put my hand under Gil’s head, but before you knew it, the blood stopped. I knew he was dead. He died in my arms.”