While current members of the Los Angeles Dodgers are up for various awards, two former players have the opportunity to be enshrined at Cooperstown. Gil Hodges and Maury Wills were named to the Hall of Fame Golden Era ballot Friday.
The Golden Era vote is for players who made significant contributions from 1947-1972 and is rotated every three years for voting. Hodges was on the 2011 ballot, whereas this marks Wills’ first appearance on the ballot.
The Dodger legends are two of nine players on the 10-member ballot that includes former St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds general manager, Bob Howsman. The players Hodges and Wills are joined by are, Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce and Luis Tiant.
Hodges’ career with the Dodgers began in 1943 when the team was still in Brooklyn. However, he appeared in just one game that season and missed the next two years due to military service. Hodges returned in 1947 and played just 28 games before becoming a mainstay at first base the following season.
Hodges spent 16 consecutive seasons with the Dodgers, including four in Los Angeles before ending his career playing two seasons for the New York Mets. With the Dodgers, Hodges was named to eight All-Star teams, won three Gold Gloves at first base and two World Series.
The first baseman also hit 361 home runs as a Dodger, which is good for second on the franchise’s all-time list behind Duke Snider’s 389 home runs. Matt Kemp is the first active player on the list in eighth place with 182 home runs.
Wills made his mark as a prolific base stealer and he holds the franchise lead with 490 career stolen bases. Wills put together a stretch of six consecutive seasons where he led the National League in stolen bases, including a then-record 104 bags swiped in 1962 when he also won NL MVP.
Wills played 12 seasons with the Dodgers and was the starting shortstop for three teams that won the World Series. In order for Hodges and Wills to be immortalized in baseball lore, they’ll need to receive votes on at least 75 percent (12 of 16) ballots.
Voting will take place during winter meetings, which are being held from Dec. 7-11 with the induction ceremony scheduled for July 26.