With Jersey Retirement, Gil Hodges links the Dodgers and Mets again

In 1980, Fred Wilpon would buy the team, adding another layer of connective tissue: Wilpon attended Lafayette High School in Brooklyn wit...


In 1980, Fred Wilpon would buy the team, adding another layer of connective tissue: Wilpon attended Lafayette High School in Brooklyn with Dodgers Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax and was a rabid Brooklyn Dodgers fan. It was under his leadership that Citi Field opened in 2009 with so many Dodgers-related touches — including the enormous Jackie Robinson Rotunda — that some Mets fans complained there were no more winks. in Brooklyn than at the Mets.

The connections would only continue, with Mike Piazza’s Hall of Fame career spanning the franchises and Justin Turner, a crucial member of the current Dodgers squad, having started his career in orange and blue.

Now Steven A. Cohen, who tried to buy the Dodgers in 2012, is calling the Mets shots. In his first public remarks after buying the Mets, he cited the Dodgers as a model of what he hoped the Mets would become. He backed that up by pushing the Mets payroll near the top of the sport.

“They’re going to separate themselves from the pack,” said Valentine, who, in keeping with the connective tissue theme, was once married to a daughter of Ralph Branca, who pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers. “Kind of like the Dodgers tried to do when they left town, and the Yankees always have.”

Two of Hodges’ adult children — Gil Jr., 72, and Irene, 71 — plan to be at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night, along with two of Irene’s granddaughters and a cousin. And as the videos roll and the lights flash, the iron steel cable that spans decades and miles will remain as strong as ever.

“Without a doubt, the 1969 World Series was amazing,” says Irene Hodges of her favorite memory. “Everyone was just thrilled. All of Brooklyn was crazy. It was a wonderful moment. My dad, I think, was a little scared to manage in New York. He knew how good the fans were here, how much they loved him, and he just wanted to do the right thing for them. He wanted to have a successful team. And he did.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: With Jersey Retirement, Gil Hodges links the Dodgers and Mets again
With Jersey Retirement, Gil Hodges links the Dodgers and Mets again
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