Friday, February 25, 2011

Elrod Hendricks Unpossible Autograph Friday & Don't Forget to Enter My Spring Training Contest

The first Spring Training game of the year was today as the Giants and Diamondbacks squared off in the desert. There are still a few spots open in my ST contest. The rules are here, but please claim teams in this post. I wasn't very specific about that, so a few of you picked a team that had already been grabbed.  Aaron please pick a new team. The Tigers, Pirates, Blue Jays, Nationals and White Sox are still available. At least a few of those teams have the chance to win it all. I will keep the contest open until Sunday, but don't want to extend it much beyond that as it would give people too much of an advantage. Enter soon if you haven't already!

Since it's Unpossible Autograph Friday around here, I am going to wrap up my "Orioles autographed cards that seem to show pictures from Spring Training" series.

Elrod Hendricks is a fitting guy to wrap things up since he was an omnipresent part of the Orioles family who wore the O's uniform for 37 seasons as a player and coach.

He was a strong defensive catcher who played 657 of his 710 career big league games for the Orioles from 1968-72, 1973-76 & 1978-79. He was a member of the '71 World Series team and was the favorite receiver of many members of the pitching staff.

After his playing career ended, Ellie became the O's bullpen coach for 28 consecutive seasons and filled the position under 11 different managers. Over that time he became synonymous with the Orioles and was probably the most locally famous person to wear the uniform. He was loved by the fans and would almost always sign autographs before games. As a kid, I definitely remember running out of cards for him to sign since he signed at most of the games that I attended.

In a sad chain of events, he suffered a stroke in April 2005, was removed from his coaching spot at the end of the season, and passed away a day shy of his 65th birthday on December 21, 2005. I believe that he had filled the role of Santa Claus at the O's Christmas party earlier that day, which made his passing even sadder. He has proven impossible to replace, but it was great to have him in the O's uniform as long as we did. RIP Elrod.


zman40 said...

That is an awesome looking autograph. I never would have guessed that his initials were EH based on that signature.

Ryan aka Orioles Magic said...

Zach- Thanks! Elrod really did have a unique cool looking autograph. When you're looking for that first E, it's pretty stylized.