Ellie Hendricks

Hendricks became famous in Game One of the 1970 World Series for a defensive play that he didn’t really make. Attempting to tag out Bernie Carbo of the Reds in the sixth inning after Ty Cline hit a chopper in front of the plate, Hendricks collided with umpire Ken Burkhart while “tagging” Carbo with his mitt and holding the ball in his throwing hand. The bowled-over Burkhart couldn’t see the play and called Carbo out. Hendricks had hit the game-tying HR in the previous inning. The next day, his two-run double in the fifth inning drove in the winning runs; he had four RBI in the Series.

The ever-smiling Hendricks was a favorite of Earl Weaver‘s for his steady fielding and because lefthanded-hitting catchers were hard to come by. Twice Baltimore traded and reacquired him. Hendricks had back-to-back 12 HR seasons in 1969-70 while platooning with Andy Etchebarren, but never started more than 95 games in a season. The native Virgin Islander did lead AL catchers in fielding in 1969. His .250 average in 1971 was a career high. He spent much of the 1980s as the Orioles’ bullpen coach.