On May 22, 1963 Gil Hodges was named manager of the Washington Senators. Those who knew him well predicted success.
“I roomed with him for six years,” said Dodger pitcher Don Drysdale, “and that’s one of the greatest breaks I ever got in baseball. It was one of my great experiences. He’s the kind of guy who would demand respect from anybody — one of the most respected men in the game.”
Sandy Koufax said: “He can’t help but do well. He knows the game as well as anybody, and you’ve got to want to play for the guy.”
Casey Stengel, then managing the New York Mets, said: “I think he’ll make a good manager because he has a good disposition. Also, he has young players over there, and he can teach them. I had him teaching here for me, and he did a wonderful job with the kids, who respect him. He is very good with the glove and with hitting and running on the bases considering the average speed he has. He has an outstanding record off the field with the baseball public and a great reputation with the officials. Everyone has a high regard for him.”