Elrod Hendricks


Elrod Hendricks

Elrod Jerome “Ellie” Hendricks (December 22, 1940 – December 21, 2005) was a catcher and coach in Major League Baseball. Hendricks played during a 12-year career that lasted from 1968 through 1979 for the Baltimore Orioles (1968–1972, 1973–1976, 1978–1979), Chicago Cubs (1972) and New York Yankees (1976–1977). He batted left-handed and threw right-handed.


A native of Charlotte Amalie, United States Virgin Islands, Hendricks was selected by the Baltimore Orioles from theCalifornia Angels in the Rule 5 draft on November 28, 1967.  He was a superior defensive catcher and a very fine handler of pitchers on a usually strong Orioles rotation that included Mike Cuellar, Pat Dobson, Dave McNally, Jim Palmer and Tom Phoebus. He also spent most of his playing for the Orioles on teams that went to three consecutive World Series from 1969–71, sharing duties with Andy Etchebarren. Hendricks led American League catchers in fielding percentage in 1969and 1975.


Hendricks also played briefly for the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees. His most productive season came in 1970, when he hit 12 home runs with 41 RBI. Hendricks went 4-for-11 (.364) with a home run and four RBI to help Baltimore defeat the Cincinnati Reds in the 1970 World Series. He also appeared in the 1976 World Series for the Yankees against Cincinnati, made the Orioles bullpen coach following the 1977 season, and was a player-coach in 1978–79.


Hendricks is best remembered for a bizarre defensive play in Game 1 of the 1970 World Series. In a tied game with one out in the sixth inning, the Reds had runners on the corners. Cincinnati pinch hitter Ty Cline hit a high chopper in front of the plate, which Hendricks grabbed with his bare hand. Bernie Carbo, who was on third base, was running home on the play


In 711 games played, including 658 with Baltimore, Hendricks was a .220 hitter with 62 home runs and 230 RBI. In nine postseason games, he had .273, two HR, 10 RBI. In 602 games as a catcher, Hendricks collected 2783 outs, 228 assists, 31 double plays, and committed just only 29 errors for a significant .990 fielding percentage.

Hendricks was a big star in Puerto Rico. He played for 17 seasons with the Cangrejeros de Santurce and occupies third place on the all-time list in homers with 105.

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