Wednesday, October 2, 2013
no. 219 - elrod hendricks
Who is the man: Elrod Hendricks was coming off his second season as the primary catcher for the Orioles. He enjoyed possibly his most productive season in 1970, although '70 and '71 are similar.
Can ya dig it: This is one of the first 1971 Topps cards I ever saw. At an early age I marveled at how low he was in his crouch. I began to think that this was a major league skill, like a good fastball or the ability to hit a slider.
Right on: Topps started out calling Hendricks "Rod" on his 1969 card. Then it switched to "Elrod" in 1970 and 1971. After that it was "Ellie," which is how he signed his name on this card.
You see this cat Hendricks is a bad mother: Hendricks just came off of a terrific postseason. He batted .375 in the ALCS and World Series and hit a home run in Game 1 of the Series.
Shut your mouth: Hendricks was born in the Virgin Islands and his accent and way of speaking delighted his teammates and others in baseball. Former umpire Ron Luciano in his book "The Umpire Strikes Back" said Hendricks had "the nicest way of arguing of anyone in baseball."
No one understands him but his woman: Hendricks didn't want to sign a pro deal because he thought his mother would get mad. So his uncle signed for him.
(A word about the back): First year of pro ball, 1959. Hendricks didn't reach the majors until he was 27.