Family, friends and fans have waited decades to hear the words: Gil Hodges is a Hall of Famer.
The former Dodgers first baseman and Mets manager was one of six elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame following Sunday's committee meetings, joining Bud Fowler, Jim Katt, Minnie Miñoso, Tony Oliva and Buck O'Neil.
The six were elected by the committees representing their era -- with O'Neil and Fowler induced by the Early Baseball committee (1871-1949) and Miñoso, Hodges, Katt and Oliva by the Golden Days committee (1950-1969). In order to be elected, 12 votes were needed from the respective 16-person committee.
Hodges first appeared on the Writers ballot in 1969 and in his final year in 1983 received 63.4 of the required 75.0 percent of the vote needed for enshrinement. Hodges, who died in 1972 at the age of 47, has been on a Hall of Fame ballot 34 times and received more votes without being enshrined than any other person, per The Athletic.
The eight-time All-Star hit .273 with 370 home runs and 1,274 RBIs in his 18-year career, which included seven straight 100-plus RBI seasons from 1949 to 1955. Hodges won the World Series with the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers and 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers. He was also manager of the "Miracle Mets," who won the 1969 World Series.
O'Neil was a three-time All-Star first baseman in the Negro Leagues during his 10-year career with the Memphis Red Sox and Kansas City Monarchs. He became a scout with the Chicago Cubs and went on to become the first Black coach on an American League or National League roster. He was also the founder of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
Fowler, who made his debut in 1878 in the International Association, is believed to be the first Black professional baseball player. Primarily a pitcher and second baseman, Fowler was a true pioneer for the sport. Fittingly, he once lived in Cooperstown.
Miñoso's career began in the Negro Leagues before spending 17 seasons in MLB, primarily with the Chicago White Sox. The nine-time All-Star had a .299 career average, collecting 2,110 hits.
Katt, a lefthanded pitcher, won 283 games and 16 Gold Gloves during his 25-year career before becoming a longtime broadcaster. Katt, who spent 15 seasons with the Minnesota Twins, won 20-plus games in a season on three occasions.
Oliva, an eight-time All-Star outfielder for the Twins, was a three-time batting champion.
Dick Allen, a former slugger for the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox who died last December, fell one vote shy of enshrinement.
The six newest members of the Hall will officially take their place in Cooperstown on July 24, 2022. They'll be joined by those elected in late January by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.