Indiana native Gil Hodges, former Indianapolis minor leaguer Minnie Miñoso elected to MLB Hall of Fame

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A pair of former major league baseball players with Indiana ties will be immortalized in Cooperstown after extended waits.

Gil Hodges, an Indiana native who was an eight-time All-Star for the Brooklyn (and then Los Angeles) Dodgers, and Minnie Miñoso, who played in 52 games for the Indianapolis minor league baseball team during the 1964 season, were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Golden Days Era Committee on Sunday.

Gil Hodges, 35-year-old first baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers, connects in the eighth inning for a home run over the left field fence in Los Angeles, Calif., Oct. 5, 1959. The homer gave the Dodgers a 5-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox and three victories to one in games in the 1959 World Series.
Gil Hodges, 35-year-old first baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers, connects in the eighth inning for a home run over the left field fence in Los Angeles, Calif., Oct. 5, 1959. The homer gave the Dodgers a 5-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox and three victories to one in games in the 1959 World Series.

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Hodges was born in Princeton, Indiana, and attended Petersburg High School. He first appeared on the BBWAA ballot in 1969. Prior to Sunday, he had received the most Hall of Fame votes for any player not enshrined in Cooperstown.

He won three Gold Glove awards and hit 370 home runs, good for second among National League right-handed batters upon his retirement in 1963. He was part of seven Dodgers teams that won the National League pennant, and won two World Series titles in 1955 and 1959.

“We have waited so long for my dad to get this honor,” his daughter, Irene Hodges, told the New York Post. “Not that he needs it, but we’re so happy for him.

Miñoso had a long wait, as well. Prior to Sunday, Miñoso had struggled to gain traction with Hall of Fame voters. His chances peaked in 1988, when he received 21.1 of the vote.

Minnie Minoso was the first black Major League Baseball player to play in Chicago.
Minnie Minoso was the first black Major League Baseball player to play in Chicago.

The first Black Cuban player in Major League Baseball played in five different decades, including 12 seasons with the Chicago White Sox. He had 195 home runs, 1,093 RBI’s and 216 stolen bases in 1,946 career games. He won three Gold Gloves and made nine All-Star game appearances.

“He devoted his life to baseball, to all the fans, to the community and to Chicago, which he loved," his son, Charlie Rice-Miñoso, said in a statement. He was so proud to be Black, to be a Cuban, to be an American and to be a professional baseball player for the Chicago White Sox. He also would have been so very proud to be a Hall of Famer.”

Follow IndyStar trending sports reporter Matthew VanTryon on Twitter @MVanTryon and email him story ideas at matthew.vantryon@indystar.com.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Gil Hodges, former Indianapolis Indian Minnie Miñoso elected to Hall of Fame

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