New York Mets catcher Ron Hodges  at spring training camp...

New York Mets catcher Ron Hodges  at spring training camp in St. Petersburg, Fla., in March 1977.  Credit: AP/Harry Harris

Ron Hodges, a catcher who spent his entire 12-season career with the Mets, died Friday at the age of 74, according to the team.

Hodges died at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Virginia after a short illness, Mets vice president of alumni relations Jay Horwitz said.

Hodges was selected by the Mets in the second round of the January 1972 draft out of Appalachian State.

Hodges reached the majors in 1973 straight from Double-A Memphis after Mets catchers Jerry Grote and Duffy Dyer suffered injuries. Hodges played in 45 games and hit .260 with one home run. He made his debut on June 13, 1973, and caught a complete-game win by Tom Seaver over San Francisco.

Hodges had one plate appearance in the 1973 World Series, which the Mets lost to Oakland in seven games, and walked against future Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers in the opening game.

“Playing in that ’73 season with the pennant drive in September is my favorite memory of my baseball career,” Hodges said in a 2018 interview with the Society for American Baseball Research.

Overall, Hodges finished his career as a prototypical backup backstop with a .240 batting average, 19 homers and 147 RBIs. He had a keen eye and amassed a .342 on-base percentage. His career high in games played came in 1983, when he appeared in 110 because of an injury to No. 1 catcher John Stearns.

“I just remember so many key hits he got for us," former Mets star Cleon Jones said in a statement. "Any time he played, Ron always managed to do something to help us win.”

A native of Rocky Mount, Virginia, Hodges was the seventh of nine children of Daisy and Tony Hodges. He is survived by wife Peggy; sons Riley, Gray, Nat and Casey; sisters Aubrey, Carmen, Pat and Donna; and two grandchildren. Funeral arrangements were pending.

--- With the Associated Press

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