We lost the most beloved Oriole of all time. Not only was Elrod Hendricks loved here in the Baltimore area, but all over the country. Every ballpark that we would go into, he?d be the first one on the field signing autographs and saying hello. It goes beyond the game of baseball. He was just a people person. Certainly, he was a big part of the success of the Oriole organization. My heart and thoughts go out to Merle and his children.
He has touched more lives in this town than anyone else. From 1968 to 2005, he was the Orioles’ Goodwill Ambassador. Even though it?s a sad day for all of us, I do have a big smile on my face when I think of Elrod.
He gave me so many laughs and so many wonderful moments during our years together.
Junktrunk2000 asked about the 1970 World Series:
All I can say is that I played in four World Series and the two we were suppose to win, we lost, and the two we were suppose to lose, we won. With respect to the call on Bernie Carbo, certainly, that play at home did change the complexion of the game. The Reds pitching staff was hurting at that time and we were able to take advantage of that. What you might not know is that even though Cincinnati was called the Big Red Machine we actually scored more runs than they did during that 1970 season. We had guys like Woodling, Elrod Hendricks and Boog that could put some runs on the board. I do think we were a pretty good team. I do think the 1969 team that lost to the Mets was better than the 1970 team. You just never know. I just happened to be in the right spot in that series. I tell people that I played 23 seasons and I never did have five games in a row like I did in that World Series. As an infielder you can go a week or two and never get a chance to do something spectacular. In this series, every game I had a chance to do something outstanding defensively and I was hitting well, too. It was a once in a lifetime five-game series for me and it just happened to be in a World Series.
Daniel, thanks for your question. I really didn?t keep that much memorabilia early on in my career. The last year that I played was in 1977 and that?s when the memorabilia business was in the early stages. I do have some things. I have the uniform of the last year that I played, my glove, spikes and the 16 Gold Gloves that I won from 1960-75. Overall, I did not keep much. Some items that I did keep, I put on my website and 100% of the proceeds go to charity (www.brooksrobinson.com). I kept some bats that I used in the All Star Games. I never really was interested that much in memorabilia. I have sons that are 44, 42, 41 and a daughter who is 37 and they were never really interested in it either. What I feel bad about is that I never started collecting baseballs in 1983 when I joined the Hall of Fame. I just wished I had balls from Cool Papa Bell, Joe Sewell, Ted Williams and Johnny Mize. Thinking back on it now there are probably about 50 Hall of Famers that have passed away since I joined the Hall of Fame in 1983 and I just wished now that I would have started collecting back then.
Richard, Gene Woodling is one of my all-time favorite guys – not only as a player but also as a coach. Gene said something to me many years ago that certainly helped me with my career. As a young 19- or 20-year old I got four hits in a game and I came into the clubhouse and I was happy jumping up and down. Woodling came over and said ?Hey Kid, don?t get carried away when you?re full of bull.? That told me one thing ?- be humble. Keep an even keel if you are doing well or doing poorly. There are 162 games so don?t get carried away about what you do in 1 game. I remember that more than anything else in my career. Gene Woodling passed away a few years ago. When he came to the Orioles he had that little unorthodox batting stance, feet close together and he was crouched down. He used one of the heaviest bats I?ve every seen. It had to be a 42-ounce bat. I used a 32- or 33-ounce most of my career. He used that big bat and he was a terrific player and he played on five World Championship teams with the Yankees. He was one of my favorite guys.
What I?m Up To:
I?ll be signing Norman Rockwell ?Gee Thanks Brooks? Prints at the Ollie?s in Pasadena, Maryland on December 10th. I?ll be helping Santa give out gifts to kids on December 17th in conjunction with the Maryland Transportation Authority Police. I?ll be appearing at the TriStar Show in Marlborough, MA on December 18th (www.tristarproductions.com). You can always check out my website for the latest appearance information (www.brooksrobinson.com).