Hodges and O’Neil’s Service Celebrated During Ceremony
Hodges served in the Marine Corps for 29 months, when he was stationed in the Pacific and received a Bronze Star. He began his service in October 1943, days after making his major league debut, and he returned to the Dodgers to begin the 1946 season.
O’Neil served in the Navy for two years when he served in a construction battalion. His service interrupted his time with the Kansas City Monarchs – missing part of the 1943 season and all of 1944 and ’45 before taking the field again in 1946.
“The Hall of Fame’s Plaque Gallery is where we recognize the all-time greats of our National Pastime,” Josh Rawitch, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum said. “But it’s also where we recognize service and sacrifice. As you walk around, you’ll get to see the medallion below each of the Hall of Fame plaques of those veterans who left for military service.”
Seventy Hall of Famers interrupted their careers for military service and their sacrifice is recognized with a medallion under their plaque. Each medallion notes the branch and conflict the Hall of Famer served in.
Friday’s ceremony included the Cooperstown V.F.W. Post 7128 Color Guard led by Commander Floyd Bourne, a Marine and Vietnam veteran who served four years of active duty. Benjamin Pomerance, Deputy Director for Program Development for the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services, performed the National Anthem.
Arielle Gordon is the Digital Content Specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum