George Hendrick a Different Kind of Guy

George was a first round pick of Oakland in 1968 and had an 18 year career in the Big Show. The best years of his baseball career was spent with the Cardinals from 1978 – 1984. In the 7 years with the Cards he hit 122 home runs and had a batting average of 294. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hendrge01.shtml

When George was drafted there was a comparison to Hank Aaron because he was a wrist hitter and would hit off his front foot. They looked alike except George was tall and very lanky.

I will tell you he danced to his own music and would not give in to others. The press would try to interview him but he cut them off after getting some bad ink, and said he will not talk to writers in the future. He was a man of his word and he did not give anymore interviews.

This is when he was given the name of Silent George! I am pretty sure Jack Buck gave him the name because he would not give him an interview. The nickname was picked up by the press and the Cardinal fans used it when addressing this different kind of guy!

I remember George in a Cardinal uniform as being very entertaining. He would wear his pants all the way down to his spikes; this is when all the players had high socks. You couldn’t help but laugh when you saw him run with his arms up high and pumping like crazy. Then you add in his long and lanky body. Nobody could smile like George, when he would get a double and stand on second base with the big toothy grin, you knew all was right!

Jack Buck was announcing the Cardinals game and George was on first base. Hendrick never took big leads, because he didn’t want to move to fast to get back to the bag. Here is George taking his normal lead, of about 2 feet, and Jack says now George don’t get too far off the bag you will get picked off!  Guess what happened, he got picked off! I didn’t like it but you had to laugh, it was good humor!

This man was an outfielder and to watch him pumping his arms and tracking down drives in the gaps was a real treat. George played centerfield and right field for the Cardinals. The memories I have of George is mainly as a right fielder. Most right fielders or should I say all right fielders when leaving their position would jog to the dugout. No not George, he would lumber over to the bullpen, because it was closer! You have to understand he was a different kind of guy! I am sure that he mixed in real well with the bullpen bunch. From what I have read and heard these gentlemen are all a little different also.

The press didn’t really care for George because he quit giving interviews. The fans like him because of George being George! I have heard a lot of former Cardinals speaking of George as a great teammate. I have heard Al Hrabosky say this numerous times.

I have left the best for last! I was at a ballgame and was sitting behind home plate way up at the top. We were playing the Pirates and Big John Candelaria was hurling for Pittsburgh. Things were getting kind of rough, there was some batters being hit by pitches. What ended up happening was Candelaria hit a Cardinal hitter and all heck broke out! I am watching all the action and all of a sudden I see George with a headlock around Pirate Bill Madlock. Here is George with a huge smile on his face and he is acting like he is punching Madlock in the face! Hendrick is about 4 inches taller than Bill and it was a sight! Then after George had his share of Bill in the headlock, it was time to reverse this little event. So next is George in a headlock and Madlock pretending to punch Smiling George in the face! This was excellent humor!

I think I noticed George coaching first base in the Majors and I wish him a lot of luck. He gave a lot of Cardinal fans a reason to smile!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Hendrick

Bob Brown

Wrigley Field Roof Top

I was watching a Reds ball game against the Cubs in the 90s and what I saw was quite humorous! This was when the roof tops were not as blocked as they are now at Wrigley.

The game was being played and all of a sudden the camera fans over to the Reds dugout. The players are pointing to the left field bleachers and laughing like crazy men. I was thinking what in the heck is going on that has attracted their attention. The camera leaves the dugout and starts to go up high past the left field bleachers.

What the players and TV viewers saw was a Reds player in uniform up with the Cub fans and having a heck of a time! The player left the dugout and ran outside the stadium and up to the roof top. He was waving down to his teammates and socializing with the poor Cub supporters.

The Cub fans who were up on the roof on this day will always have a story to tell! I still laugh about this funny event! I probably would have done this myself on a dare. I bet that is what started this, was a dare from a teammate.

The game was going on but this was the real show as the camera kept going between the dugout and the roof top! Everybody was having a real good time. I really enjoyed this action as it is my kind of humor!

The camera also showed Reds manager Davey Johnson laughing with the Reds players. He said after the game it was real funny but he had to fine the player anyway!

The player was a left handed pitcher for the Reds, them lefty’s are a little different! I think I remember who the player was but can’t say because I am not positive. I tried to get hold of him and was not successful.

Bob Brown

 

 

Joe Buck and Three Gentlemen

I was watching a Cardinal game several years ago and Joe buck was still in the booth for the Cards. I think a lot of fans will remember this event that will humor me for a lifetime!

The camera fanned up to the third deck way up in right field. There was three Gentlemen sitting next to each other and there was nobody within a hundred miles of them. Joe noticed they were having a very good time laughing and enjoying the game.

Joe is like his Dad the Great Jack Buck, with a very good sense of humor. The camera kept going back to where these long distance Card fans were sitting and enjoying their day at the ball park.

I think it was after about the third time of Joe watching the guys and making some funny comments. He noticed that these three Cardinal baseball fans were sharing one beer! We were all watching as they passed the beer from one to the other. I personally think this is too much closeness. But it is a free country, if they want to share a beer, all the more power to them.   Joe had so much fun with this and I just loved watching the Old Boys laughing and sharing one beer.  This event was better than watching the game and Joe added to the fun with some very humorous comments.

Finally what Joe did was send three beers up to these gentlemen with an attendant. Joe announced the event as the beers were getting closer to their final destination. The beer arrived to the scene and the men accepted the free brew.  The courier of the adult beverage said the beer was a gift from Joe Buck.

It was obvious the men were enthusiastic to be able to consume free beer and to hear it was a gift from Joe. The courier then proceeded to explain to the beer consumers that they have been on TV and then pointed to the broadcast booth.

The three baseball and beer fans then proceeded to laugh and point to the booth. They were laughing so hard, I thought they were going to fall over! Joe with his style was making some funny comments about the beer sharing gentlemen. As Mike Shannon says there is nothing like fun at the old ball yard. I will never forget this and I am sure that Joe has a special memory of the three gentlemen!

Bob Brown

 

My Dad and Cardinal Baseball

When I was little Dad had a rule you couldn’t go to a Cardinal game until you were five years old. I think this is a good rule and I did the same with my son Jeff.

Going to a Cardinal game with Dad was always a real treat! He would never pay for parking, so we always had to park a long ways from the stadium. One more thing you have to understand is Dad was a weightlifter and also believed in hustle. We not only had to park a long way from the stadium, but we also had to run! He would take off like a gazelle and he would be encouraging me to keep up with him. Heck I was between the ages of 5 – 12, it made no difference, and he still pushed. My brother Marty and sister Robin when they reached the age of five it was the same for them. I will never forget going to a game and I was right behind Dad and I looked back and Marty and Robin were huffing and puffing to keep up. They were five and six years younger than me! I always wondered what other people were thinking as we were dashing through the crowds.

We always got there early so we could get a good seat in the bleachers and to watch batting practice. Dad really wanted to get a free baseball, and it was always a mad scramble when a ball went over the wall. These were also the cheap seats, but there was always a lot of action. I really enjoyed sitting out in the left field bleachers.

My Dad when he was younger had no patience, and I am still like that today. I am not good at waiting in line and have always been like that. He was always in a rush, and I am the same and always looking to get to a destination fast.

Well I never got to see a full game at Busch Stadium when going with my Dad. We always had to leave by the 7th inning to beat the traffic! Then when we walked out of the stadium, we had to go into a full sprint all the way back to the car! Most of the time the game would still be on the radio when we got home.

Today I always stay for the full game and will let others leave before me, and then I will fight the traffic.

We always talk and laugh among our family about going to the baseball game with Dad.

Thanks Dad I will never forget the enjoyment of going to the Cardinal baseball games.

Bob Brown