Profiles of Valor
Gilbert “Gil” Ray Hodges was widely regarded as the major leagues' outstanding first baseman in the1950s, playing most of his career with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. His teammate Duke Sniderwas the only other player with more home runs and runs batted in during the decade. Hodges was an eight-time All-Star and anchored the infield on six pennant winners, and remains one of the most belovedand admired players of his era.
Hodges entered the United States Marine Corps after having participated in its Reserve Officers’Training Corps. He served in combat as an anti-aircraft gunner in the 16th Anti-Aircraft Battalion, participating in the Battles of Tinian and Okinawa. It was in the Battle of Okinawa that Sergeant Hodges received a Bronze Star Medal. The citation states: “That he was entrusted with the safeguarding and stenographic preparation of highly classified documents through extensive periods of enemy aerial alerts and extensive bombing attacks.” Gil Hodges is a true American Hero of the greatest generation!