Tommy Henrich

Thomas David Henrich (February 20, 1913 – December 1, 2009), nicknamed "The Clutch" and "Old Reliable", was an American professional baseball player of German descent.[1] He played his entire Major League Baseball career as a right fielder and first baseman for the New York Yankees (1937–1942 and 1946–1950). Henrich led the American League in triples twice and in runs scored once, also hitting 20 or more home runs four times. He is best remembered for his numerous exploits in the World Series; he was involved in one of the most memorable plays in Series history in 1941, was the hitting star of the 1947 Series with a .323 batting average, and hit the first walk-off home run in Series history in the first game of the 1949 World Series.

Tommy Henrich
Tommy Henrich 1949
Henrich in 1949.
Right fielder
Born: February 20, 1913
Massillon, Ohio
Died: December 1, 2009 (aged 96)
Dayton, Ohio
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
May 11, 1937, for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
October 1, 1950, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
Batting average.282
Home runs183
Runs batted in795
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Life and career

Henrich batted left and threw left. Throughout much of his career he claimed to have been born in 1916, saying later that this was to make up for the three years that he lost by playing softball instead of baseball. He was signed by the Cleveland Indians in 1934, but was ruled a free agent in April 1937 after he and his father wrote to Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who decided that the Indians had illegally concealed him in their farm system. He signed for the Yankees, and also pocketed a $25,000 bonus ($435,706 in current dollar terms).[2] He debuted with the Yankees – his longtime favorite team – in 1937, hitting .320 in 67 games, and gradually replaced George Selkirk in right field. In his first four seasons he posted productive if unspectacular totals, peaking with 22 home runs and 91 RBIs in 1938 and batting .307 in 1940. But on a team which featured Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Bill Dickey and Joe Gordon, Henrich's contributions were of a decidedly supporting nature as he competed for playing time with Selkirk and Charlie Keller. In the 1938 World Series against the Chicago Cubs, manager Joe McCarthy placed him third in the batting order; he batted .250 and had a solo home run late in Game 4 as the Yankees swept the Series. He did not appear in the 1937 or 1939 World Series, also won by the Yankees.

Breaking out

Henrich broke out with a 1941 season in which he had a career-high 31 homers – third in the AL behind Ted Williams and Keller – and was fifth in the league with 106 runs. Facing the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series, he singled and scored in a 2-run eighth inning in Game 3, and New York hung on to win 2-1. But one of the most famous moments in postseason history occurred when he came to the plate with two out in the ninth inning of Game 4; Brooklyn had a 4-3 lead, one out away from tying the Series. Henrich swung at a full-count breaking curveball for strike three, but catcher Mickey Owen couldn't handle the ball, which got past him (see photo); Henrich began to move toward first base almost as soon as he saw the ball had dropped sharply, and when he saw it get past Owen he took off running. DiMaggio then singled, and Keller doubled to score both runners and take the lead; Gordon later doubled to bring in two more runs, and the Yankees had a 7-4 victory and a 3-1 Series lead. Henrich had a solo home run in Game 5 as the Yankees took the game 3-1, and won another championship.

He made his first AL All-Star team in 1942, but again didn't appear in the World Series. He went on to miss the 1943 through 1945 seasons while serving in the Coast Guard in Sault Ste Marie MI during World War II. While there, he volunteered as the girls high school basketball coach at Loretto Catholic High School. Upon returning in 1946 he batted only .251, but finished among the league's top ten players in walks (87), runs (92), homers (19) and RBI (83). With Dickey and Gordon gone, he began to bear a greater share of the responsibility for the team's offense in 1947, and came through quite effectively as he formed one of the game's great outfields with Keller in left field and DiMaggio in center. He led the AL with 13 triples and was second with 109 runs and 98 RBI; he was also third in doubles (35) and fourth in slugging average (.485) and total bases (267). Again facing the Dodgers in the Series, he had a pair of RBI in the Game 1 victory, and a solo homer in the 10-3 Game 2 win. He came to the plate with the score tied 2-2, the bases loaded and two out in the fourth inning of Game 7, and drove in Phil Rizzuto with the deciding run in a 5-2 win.

Henrich's best years

Tommy Henrich.jpeg
Henrich in 1948.

Henrich then enjoyed his best years, gradually moving from the outfield to first base. He hit .308 with 25 HRs and 100 RBI in 1948, leading the league in triples (14) and runs (138) and finishing second in doubles (42) and total bases (326) and third in slugging (.554); he tied an AL record with four grand slams, and placed sixth in the MVP voting. He was again sixth in the MVP balloting in 1949 after placing third in the AL in HRs (24) and slugging (.526), often getting crucial hits late in the season as the Yankees captured another flag under new manager Casey Stengel. The new skipper succeeded in getting Henrich to avoid outside curveballs by threatening to send him back to the minor leagues, and he picked up two RBI in a 5-3 win over the Boston Red Sox on the season's last day, giving New York the pennant by a single game. He caught the final out when Birdie Tebbetts hit a foul popup near first base. Meeting the Dodgers for a final time in the Series, he gave New York a 1-0 victory in Game 1 when he homered against Don Newcombe on a 2-0 pitch to lead off the ninth inning, the first walk-off home run ever in the World Series. He scored twice in the 10-6 win in Game 5 as the Yankees again took the championship. Henrich was an All-Star in each of his last four seasons.

Retirement from baseball

Henrich retired after batting .272 with 6 home runs and 34 RBI in a 1950 season during which he was injured most of the year. In an 11-season career, he was a .282 hitter with a .491 slugging average, 183 home runs, 901 runs, 795 RBI, 1,297 hits, 269 doubles, 73 triples and 37 stolen bases in 1,284 games. Defensively, he posted a .985 fielding percentage at all three outfield positions and first base. He was dubbed "Old Reliable" – after a train which ran from Ohio to Alabama – by Yankees broadcaster Mel Allen for his knack of getting a hit just when it was needed. He later became a coach with the Yankees (1951), New York Giants (1957) and Detroit Tigers (1958–1959), and worked as a color commentator for ABC television's baseball coverage in 1965.

In the early 1950s, Henrich had programs on WABC-TV and WCBS-TV, both in New York City. On January 16, 1954, he began a 15-minute program on ABC-TV at 6 o'clock Eastern Time on Saturdays.[3]

Later life and death

Henrich received the Pride of The Yankees Award in 1987, presented annually by the club to memorable figures in the organizations' history.

At his death Henrich was the fifth oldest living MLB player and was the last surviving member of the 1941 World Champion New York Yankees. There were no living former baseball players who played on the winning team in an earlier World Series. He was also Lou Gehrig's final surviving teammate.

Tommy Henrich died at the age of 96 on December 1, 2009, after being weakened by a series of strokes he suffered in recent years. He is buried in Dayton National Cemetery.

See also

References

  1. ^ Baldassaro, Lawrence; Johnson, Dick, eds. (2002). The American Game: Baseball and Ethnicity. SIU Press. p. 47. ISBN 0-8093-2445-8. German Americans comprised 30 percent of the U.S. armed forces, among them such high-profile ballplayers as Charlie Gehringer, Tommy Henrich, Pete Reiser, and Red Ruffing.
  2. ^ Dickson, Paul (1989). The Dickson Baseball Dictionary. United States: Facts on File. p. 313. ISBN 0816017417.
  3. ^ "Henrich's Web Spread". Variety. December 30, 1953. p. 29. Retrieved 14 July 2019.

External links

1937 New York Yankees season

The 1937 New York Yankees season was their 35th season. The team finished with a record of 102–52, winning their 9th pennant, finishing 13 games ahead of the Detroit Tigers. New York was managed by Joe McCarthy. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they beat the New York Giants in 5 games. This gave the Yankees a 3-to-2 edge in overall series play against the Giants.

1937 saw significant changes in the layout of Yankee Stadium, as concrete bleachers were built to replace the aging wooden structure, reducing the cavernous "death valley" of left center and center considerably, although the area remained a daunting target for right-handed power hitters such as Joe DiMaggio.

1938 New York Yankees season

The 1938 New York Yankees season was their 36th season. The team finished with a record of 99–53, winning their 10th pennant, finishing 9.5 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox. New York was managed by Joe McCarthy. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. In the 1938 World Series, they beat the Chicago Cubs in 4 games. This marked the first time any team had won three consecutive World Series.

1940 New York Yankees season

The 1940 New York Yankees season was the team's 38th season in New York and its 40th overall. The team finished in third place with a record of 88–66, finishing two games behind the American League champion Detroit Tigers and one game behind the second-place Cleveland Indians. New York was managed by Joe McCarthy. Their home games were played at the Yankee Stadium.

1941 New York Yankees season

The 1941 New York Yankees season was the 39th season for the team in New York, and its 41st season overall. The team finished with a record of 101–53, winning their 12th pennant, finishing 17 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox. New York was managed by Joe McCarthy. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in 5 games.

Books and songs have been written about the 1941 season, the last before the United States became drawn into World War II. Yankees' center fielder Joe DiMaggio captured the nation's fancy with his lengthy hitting streak that extended through 56 games before finally being stopped. A big-band style song called Joltin' Joe DiMaggio was recorded by the Les Brown orchestra and became a hit the following year.

1941 Play Ball Cards

The Play Ball baseball card sets, issued by Gum Inc. from 1939 to 1941, are sets filled with various rookies, stars, and Hall of Famers. The 1941 set has a total of 72 cards. The more valuable cards in the set include Ted Williams ($1500), Joe DiMaggio ($2500), and the rookie Pee Wee Reese ($400–$600). Any Play Ball cards are relatively rare, and if highly graded the cards demand a premium. The 1941 Play Ball set is the only Play Ball set with color.

1942 New York Yankees season

The 1942 New York Yankees season was the team's 40th season in New York and its 42nd overall. The team finished with a record of 103–51, winning their 13th pennant, finishing 9 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox. New York was managed by Joe McCarthy. The Yankees played home games at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in 5 games.

1947 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1947 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 14th playing of the "Midsummer Classic" between Major League Baseball's (MLB) American League (AL) and National League (NL) All-Star teams. The All-Star Game was held on July 8, 1947, at Wrigley Field in Chicago, the home of the NL's Chicago Cubs.

The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League by a score of 2–1 in 2 hours and 19 minutes.

1947 New York Yankees season

The 1947 New York Yankees season was the team's 45th season in New York, and its 47th season overall. The team finished with a record of 97–57, winning their 15th pennant, finishing 12 games ahead of the Detroit Tigers. New York was managed by Bucky Harris. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers in 7 games. It was the first ever season of the Yankees to be broadcast live on television with WABD providing the television broadcast feed to viewers in the city.

1947 World Series

The 1947 World Series matched the New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Yankees won the Series in seven games for their first title since 1943, and their eleventh World Series championship in team history. Yankees manager Bucky Harris won the Series for the first time since managing the Washington Senators to their only title in 1924.

In 1947, Jackie Robinson, a Brooklyn Dodger, desegregated major league baseball. For the first time in World Series history, a racially integrated team played.

1948 Major League Baseball season

During the 1948 Major League Baseball season which began on April 19 and ended on October 11, 1948, the Boston Braves won the NL pennant and the Cleveland Indians won a 1-game playoff against the Boston Red Sox to take the AL pennant.

1949 Major League Baseball season

The 1949 Major League Baseball season.

1949 New York Yankees season

The 1949 New York Yankees season was the team's 47th season in New York, and its 49th season overall. The team finished with a record of 97–57, winning their 16th pennant, finishing 1 game ahead of the Boston Red Sox. New York was managed by Casey Stengel in his first year. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers in 5 games.

1949 World Series

The 1949 World Series featured the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers, with the Yankees winning in five games for their second defeat of the Dodgers in three years, and the twelfth championship in team history. This victory would start a record run of five consecutive World Series championships by the Yankees, and was also the first of 14 AL pennants in 16 years (1949–1964 except for 1954 and 1959) for the Yankees.

Both teams finished the regular season with exactly the same records and winning their respective leagues by exactly one game.

1950 New York Yankees season

The 1950 New York Yankees season was the 48th season for the team in New York and its 50th overall as a franchise. The team finished with a record of 98–56, winning their 17th pennant, finishing 3 games ahead of the Detroit Tigers. In the World Series, they defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in 4 games. New York was managed by Casey Stengel. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium.

1970 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1970 followed the system of annual elections in place since 1968.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected Lou Boudreau.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.

It selected three people: Earle Combs, Ford Frick, and Jesse Haines.

Doris Cook

Doris Cook [״Little Cookie״] (born June 23, 1931) is a former pitcher and outfielder who played from 1949 through 1953 in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Listed at 5 ft 1 in (1.55 m), 130 lb., she batted right-handed and threw left-handed.Doris Cook joined the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1949 at the age of 17, following in the footsteps of her older sister, Donna Cook, who played in the league from 1946 to 1954.

Born in Muskegon, Michigan, Doris was one of twelve children into the family of Sidney and Daisy (née Johnson) Cook. She played in a city softball league at age 14, before being scouted by the league under recommendation of her sister. She was signed a contract and relocated to the Springfield Sallies rookie team, a traveling developmental squad of the AAGPBL, which entertained crowds across the country, playing exhibition games before Major League Baseball contests.Cook won her first game as a pitcher on the tour, which started in Chicago and ended up in Canada. She played in Yankee Stadium and Griffith Stadium. We traded autographed balls with Tommy Henrich of the Yankees, she recalled in an interview. From 1949 to 1950, she posted a 6–11 record in 17 pitching appearances and batted a .137 average (10-for-73).

In 1951 Cook was promoted to the Kalamazoo Lassies, playing for them two and a half years before joining the South Bend Blue Sox during the 1953 midseason. Paired with her sister Donna in South Bend, for the first time in her professional career, she retired from the league following the 1953 season.Cook went 0–1 with a 5.74 earned run average in 22 games pitched and played 74 games at left field, while collecting a .128 batting average. I was more of a defensive player than an offensive one, she explained.Following her baseball career, Cook worked in banking for more of two decades before retiring in 1994. Since 1988 she is part of Women in Baseball, a permanent display based at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, which was unveiled to honor the entire All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. She also was elected to the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame along with her sister Donna in 1993. She currently lives in her hometown of Muskegon.

Henrich

Henrich is both a surname and a given name. Notable people with the name include:

Surname:

Adam Henrich (born 1984), Canadian ice hockey player

Bernhard Henrich, set decorator

Bobby Henrich, American baseball player

Christy Henrich, American gymnast

Dieter Henrich, German philosopher

Joseph Henrich, American anthropologist

Michael Henrich (born 1980), Canadian professional ice hockey player

Tommy Henrich, American baseball playerGiven name:

Henrich Benčík, Slovak footballer

Henrich Focke, German aviation pioneer from Bremen

Henrich Herman Mejer Foss, Norwegian Minister of the Navy 1845-1848

Johnny Nee

John Coleman "Johnny" Nee (born January 15, 1890 in Thayer, Missouri - died April 1957 in St. Petersburg, Florida) was a major league baseball scout and a minor league player-manager.

Nee, a young minor league infielder of 22, was chosen to skipper the Terre Haute team in 1912 as a player-manager. He served as a player-manager at many of his minor league stops including his last post as the leader of the Virginia League Kinston Eagles (1925-1926). During that final managerial season, one of his young charges was future Hall of Fame member Rick Ferrell.

Starting in 1927, Nee began a long career as a major league scout for the New York Yankees and was credited with discovering many future major leaguers including Bill Dickey and Tommy Henrich. He left the Yankees for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1946. At the end of the 1949 season, Nee was named head of the Phillies farm system.

Nee and his wife of many years, Willa (née Harpe), lived in Pinellas County, Florida where Willa died in 1952 and Johnny died in 1957.

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