Dec
01

Tommy Henrich, 96, nickamed ‘Old Reliable,’ dies

By

Tommy Henrich, an 11-year Yankee veteran and winner of four World Series, passed away this morning at his home in Dayton, Ohio, the Yankees announced today. Henrich, who played with Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra, among other Yankee greats, earned himself the nickname Old Reliable during his years in the Bronx. For Henrich, the clutch hits just keep on coming.

Henrich is something of an unsung hero from his time in the Bronx. Overshadowed by legends, he hit .282/.382/.491 in 1284 games. He was a five-time All Star and a four-time World Series winner. Yet, he missed three years — his ages 30, 31 and 32 season — to World War II.

His former teammates remembered him fondly today. Said Yogi Berra who played with Henrich for four years, “Tommy was a darn good ballplayer and teammate. He always took being a Yankee to heart. He won a lot of championships and did whatever he could to help us win. When I came up in 1947, he taught me little nuances about playing the outfield. Being around Tommy made you feel good, whether playing cards or listening to him sing with that great voice. He was a proud man, and if you knew him, he made you proud too.”

At the time of his death, Henrich was the fifth oldest Major League alum and the oldest living player to don pinstripes. That mantle has now passed to 92-year-old Virgil Trucks.

Categories : News
  • Hikker

    There goes another old timer..

    R.I.P. Tommy!!

  • mikeymike

    R.I.P
    You sir were a true Yankee!

    • http://sports-odds.com/images/stories/yankees-arod-teixeira.jpg JobaWockeeZ

      Anyone who put on a Yankee uniform is a true Yankee.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Seconded.

        Even Cody Ransom.

  • Salty Buggah

    That 132 Career OPS+ is pretty good.

    R.I.P.

    • Jim in Bingo

      . . . better than Hall-of-Famer Jim Rice’s . . .

      but then again Rice was the most feared hitter of . . . whatever.

      RIP TH

  • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    Condolences to Henrich’s family and friends. To the fans who are too young to have been around during Henrich’s career, like me and just about everyone who reads/comments here I’d assume, you should check out David Halberstam’s “Summer of ’49,” about the Yanks/Sox rivalry in 1949. It’s a great offseason read for any baseball fan, and Henrich features prominently as a leader and driving force behind that Yankees team.

    • http://theyankeeway.mlblogs.com/ Keanu Reeves

      You’re right Mondesi, unbelievable book. I got it 4 years ago for my 16th birthday and read it over the summer.

      • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Ha, good, glad someone else agrees. I actually read it years ago – I got it for my dad and then read it one time when I was home from school on a break or something – so I know I liked it when I read it but it was long enough ago that I don’t know that I’d still think it’s good, today. But it’s about the people involved moreso than it’s really about baseball analysis (or stats, etc.), so I assume I’d like it as much today as I did back when I read it.

        • http://theyankeeway.mlblogs.com/ Keanu Reeves

          I’ve actually been thinking about reading it again the past few months, as that and a book of Yogi Berra quotes are the only books I brought to school for my reading please haha.

          There’s definitely some great stories in there.

        • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

          Add me to the list. Loved the DiMaggio-Williams stuff, I had only heard of that debate and that book really brought it to life for me, especially Williams. Plus, Halberstam’s writing is on another level from most Baseball writers. Beautifully written. Great book, as was “October 1964″

  • Teix is the Man

    RIP Mr. H

  • Amy

    I remember reading his book “Five O’Clock Lightning” ten times cover to cover the summer I was 11. R.I.P Old Reliable :'(

  • Esteban

    This is too bad. I’ve met a few relatives of his living around my town.

  • Joseph M

    My father was a huge Tommy Henrich telling me on many occasions what a great clutch player he was. Look at his stats and keep in mind he spent three prime time years serving this country in World War II, he was a near Hall of Famer and a great post season performer. To a great Yankee, Rest In Peace.

    • Jimmy

      Joe,

      My Dad’s favorite player was Tommy Henrich. I’ve heard all of the great clutch hit stories and wish I saw him play. The story about the called third strike in game 4 of the ’41 WS has to be one of the greatest plays in Yankee history.

      Sorry to see him go.

  • Maris61

    Condolences to the Henrich family.
    Tommy was a true Yankee.
    I believe the first to hit a walk-off Series hom run.

  • Unlearned Hand

    Tommy owned a supper club in Columbus in the 60’s- site of the later Wendy’s headliner on West Broad Street. Saw Robert Goulet there with a woman of moot repute. Spent 50 bucks in 1963 which is 750 bucks today; starved for three months. Loved it!

  • Kevin

    I only just watched over the weekend an old tape I converted into a DVD–the 1991 WPIX telecast of the Yankees Old Timers Day.
    That featured the 50th Anniversary of Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak. Tommy Henrich was there and beamed when Joe recalled the time Tommy lent him his bat so he could keep his streak going at Washington, DC.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    A great Yankee, the Paul O’Niell of his day. Career spanned Gehrig through DiMaggio, and some of the best Yankee teams that ever played the game. Particularly the 1939 edition, which capped off a 4 year World Series run and is considered by many historian to be the best team that ever played.

    RIP Old Reliable.

    http://www.baseball-reference......html?redir

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