Tommy Henrich, whose heroics with NY
Yankees earned him the nickname 'Old Reliable,' dies at 96
Henrich, an outfielder, won seven World Series championships with the Yankees from 1937-42 and 1946-50, his service to the team interrupted only by his military service in World War II.
"Tommy was a darn good ballplayer and teammate," former Yankees teammate Yogi Berra said in a statement. "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."
In his career, Henrich hit .282 with 183 homers and 795 RBI. He also finished with 73 triples, twice leading the American League in that category.
Henrich was the first player to hit a walk-off homer to win a World Series game, homering off the Dodgers' Don Newcombe to give the Yankees a 1-0 victory in the opening game of the 1949 series.
Tommy was a terrific player," former teammate Dr. Bobby Brown said in a statement. "What made him so special was that he always played well in big games. You get him in a close or important game and he would always show up ready to play. It seemed like he never made any mistakes in the outfield. He was a true professional and an ultimate Yankee.
Jerry Coleman, a former teammate, said Henrich's "Old Reliable" nickname perfectly described an uncanny ability to come through in big spots.
"My first year with him was 1949, and it seemed like every home run he hit won the game," Coleman said in a statement. "His career stats might not show it, but he was a great clutch player. When he hit, it counted. He was also a fine defensive player in the outfield.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Virgil Trucks, 92, is now believed to be the oldest living Yankee.
Henrich's family will hold a private memorial service on Saturday. They ask that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Henrich's name to the Baseball Assistance Team, an organization devoted to helping former players in need.
News Death Notice
Tom Henrich, formerly of Massillon and Prescott, AZ, passed away peacefully
on December 1 at the age of 96. Eileen, his beloved wife of 68 years,
died in March.