Wednesday, March 24, 2010

RIP Tommy Henrich (1913-2009)

I just happened upon this NY Times obituary that tells me that Tommy Henrich has passed away.

This saddens me. I can still see his Bowman baseball cards and hear my dad's voice telling me about Old Reliable. I can even imagine Mel Allen's voice (How about that?) calling him "Old reliable Henrich" for his clutch hitting.

Henrich didn't have the most-amazing stats, but he was Mr. Clutch; a team player all the way. He didn't go for glory; he went for the win, and that led him to seven World Series championships. Not bad for a guy who was never really a "star."

My condolences to the Henrich family. I never saw him play, but the legend is still there.

Henrich’s dedication on the field was matched by a reputation for strength of character. As Stengel put it in a 1949 profile of Henrich in The New Yorker: “He’s a fine judge of a fly ball. He fields grounders like an infielder. He never makes a wrong throw, and if he comes back to the hotel at 3 in the morning when we’re on the road and says he’s been sitting up with a sick friend, he’s been sitting up with a sick friend.”

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