One of the game’s greatest sluggers of the 1950s, Gil Hodges was the oomph that kept the Brooklyn Dodgers offense running. Gil, who served in the military during World War II at the beginning of his career, missed the 300 homerun and 2,000 hit plateaus by margins meager. One of the game’s terrific gentlemen, Mr. Hodges was a well-respected player whose presence in the heart of the Dodgers order was valuable. His booming bat was good for 30-plus homers a season and his position in the lineup enabled him to rack up many RBI. After his retirement, Gil managed and is widely regarded with turning the lowly New York Mets into champions.
America’s number one cover girl during World War II, the lovely Jinx Falkenburg graced seemingly every publication in that tumultuous period. Athletic and the portrait of health, Jinx kept in pin-up girl shape by playing tennis. The sport came natural to her, for her brother was a tennis champion and was a postwar star in the sport. Jinx had a trademark: she would often position flowers behind her ears. Whether she was donned in bathing suits, evening gowns or sarongs, Miss Falkenburg was dynamite.
Jim McCormick was one of the top pitchers of the 1800s, whose career WHIP and ERA was superior to the bulk of his enshrined peers. He won over 250 career games and completed over ninety percent of his starts, but completing games was common among hurlers of the 1800s–if you couldn’t finish what you started, you had no business on the diamond. McCormick was a top-flight pitcher whose career seems worthy of Hall of Fame induction. Among his Hall of Fame peers, John Clarkson, Pud Galvin, Tim Keefe, Old Hoss Radbourn and Mickey Welch, only Keefe had a better WHIP while McCormick’s career ERA was far superior to those pitchers who played in his era.
Bedroom-eyed Renee Godfrey was a lesser known actress during the 1940s who possessed the proper assemblage for cheesecake art. With her Amazonian figure, the dark-haired beauty made for an ideal pin-up model. In features, Miss Godfrey typically played the “other woman,” or a mysterious female who dealt in underhanded dealings. She was sharp in Down Missouri Way, a comedy that enabled her to showcase her acting chops.
Former Houston Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell, despite his early exit from the game courtesy a shoulder ailment, is one of the finest all-round offensive weapons in the game’s rich history. An elite run producer, Baggy was a slugger deluxe who also posted on-base percentages well above the league average. So great was Jeff with lumber in his paws, that his career OPS (on-base pus slugging) rests higher than Hall of Fame locks Hank Aaron, Ken Griffey Jr. and Willie Mays. What Bagwell did throughout his career–play exceptional baseball, for he fielded his position exceptionally to go along with his prodigious swatting–was what legitimate Hall of Famers are made of. For more on Jeff Bagwell, visit my blog exclusively dedicated to getting Jeff inducted into Cooperstown: http://www.baggybelongs.wordpress.com.
The film noirs of the 1940s and 1950s were some of the finest examples of cinema. Their use of lighting, with exceptional cinematography, gave the films that seedy atmosphere many of the plot devices demanded. Whereas many film historians point to the cinematography as the noir’s primary draw, there are other film admirers who might suggest that the lovely femme fatales were the genre’s best attraction. When it came to film noir femme fatales, few could hold a candle to Audrey Totter. The curvaceous blond was in her element portraying cunning dames with nothing but their best interests in mind.
One of the greatest shortstops in baseball history, Dahlen came about his nickname because he was said to have the uncanny knack for enraging umpires with the shortest invective. Although he was quite well-versed in choice phrases, Dahlen was also a gifted shortstop and quite superior to his Hall of Fame peers–with the notable exception of Honus Wagner, the greatest shortstop of all-time. No other shortstop can compare with the Flying Dutchman, but two other shortstops in the Hall of Fame from that era, Joe Tinker and Bobby Wallace, failed to measure up with Bad Bill.
For more on Bad Bill, visit my baseball blog http://www.hofdebate.wordpress.com.