Cards That Never Were is a recurring series in which I create virtual trading cards for players missed in various sets. It is a concept I have borrowed from far too many to name, but I appreciate all of their effort.
Ron Hodges was selected in the first round by the New York Mets in the 1972 MLB draft. In previous years, he had been selected by three other teams, but did not sign. Hodges made his MLB debut in 1973. He remained in the majors with the Mets through the 1984 season, except for part of the 1975 season.
Early in his career, Hodges battled for playing time with fellow catchers Jerry Grote and Duffy Dyer. Later, John Stearns was his main competition. For his career, Hodges hit .240 with 19 home runs and 147 rbi's. I named voted him into my Backup Catcher Hall of Fame.
For his efforts, Topps gave Hodges cards in every set from 1973-'85, except the '76 set. With only 37 plate appearances in '75, Topps opted not to give Hodges a card. Despite giving the Mets three catchers several other times, Hodges did not make the cut.
The '76 set is the first one I ever bought whole. It will always have a special place in my heart. I had to create a Hodges card for the set.