Marine Parkway - Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge

Gilbert Ray “Gil” Hodges (1924-1972) helped win championships for his teams both as a player and as a manager. He was born in Indiana and excelled at baseball at an early age. He was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1943 but only managed to play one game that year, leaving to serve in the Marines for World War II.

Hodges returned to the team in 1947 and played a number of positions before finding success at first base. During his peak offensive production from 1949 to 1957, Hodges averaged 32 home runs and 108 RBI per season. It was during these seasons that the Dodgers won five National League pennants and the 1955 World Series title. One notable achievement for Hodges occurred on August 31, 1950, when he became just the second modern-era National League player to hit four home runs in one game.

Hodges moved with the team to Los Angeles in 1958 and helped it win its first National League pennant and World Series on the West Coast in 1959. His abilities and playing time diminished after that; he played two more years with the Dodgers and then with the new New York team, the Mets, in 1962 and 1963. He is credited with hitting the first home run for the Mets.

Hodges retired early in the 1963 season with 370 homers (third most for a right-handed hitter at the time), 1,921 hits, 1,274 RBI and three Gold Glove Awards at first base – even though the award was not created until 1957. He was quickly chosen by the last-place Washington Senators to manage the team. He brought the Senators out of recent 100-loss seasons to a more respectable 76-85 record in 1967 with limited resources. This success was noted by the New York Mets, who hired him after the 1967 season to help their expansion team.

It didn’t take long for Hodges to turn a team that hadn’t won more than 66 games in a season to “The Miracle Mets” of 1969 that won 100 games and the World Series title. The Mets had winning seasons in 1970 and 1971 but, tragically, Hodges had a heart attack and died just before his 48th birthday on April 2, 1972.

Hodges’ uniform number 14 was retired on June 9, 1973, at Shea Stadium. He was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 1982. After years of consideration, his number 14 was retired by the Los Angeles Dodgers and he was finally inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Golden Days Eras Committee in 2022.

In 1978, The Marine Parkway Bridge was renamed the Marine Parkway - Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, marking the first time a bridge was named for a major sports figure. Appropriately, it spans the Rockaway Inlet from Jacob Riis Park in Queens to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.


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Jeffrey Stuart, “Gil Hodges in Washington,” D.C. Baseball History, August 30, 2020,

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“Mets Retired Numbers,” Mets Insider Blog, October 26, 2017,

Matt Snyder, “Dodgers to retire number 14 for Hall of Famer Gil Hodges,” CBS Sports, May 26, 2022,

Isa Farfan, “The Top 10 Secrets of the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge,” Untapped New York, accessed February 17, 2023,