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.