He has spent 26 seasons in an Orioles uniform, most in franchise history, so if anybody knows the best and worst in club history, it is bullpen coach and former catcher Elrod Hendricks.
Hendricks, 53, has laughed with them all and laughed at them all for more
than a quarter century. Here's how he rates the Orioles:
Brady Anderson, Frank Robinson.
* Worst dressers: Eddie Watt and Brooks Robinson. "Brooks couldn't even
match his socks. It wasn't really Eddie's fault. He just had a bad body."
* Biggest complainers: Earl Williams and Jim Palmer. "Palmer was always
looking for someone to disagree with him so he could get into an argument,
especially on the day he pitched. He needed that to get him fired up."
* Funniest: Boog Powell, Paul Blair, Frank Robinson and Chico Salmon.
"Frank can keep you in stitches for hours, and so can Boog and Blair. Blair
has a million stories, and most of them are even true. Boog has a million
stories, and most of them aren't true. Chico Salmon, just some of the phrases
he used made him funny."
* Worst driver: Curt Motton. "I remember Luis Tiant telling him, 'Please
Mr. Motton, watch the road. Please Mr. Motton, you are going to get me
keeeled.' But he drove me around for two years, so I can't complain too much.
I didn't let him know I had a license."
* Best cook: Powell.
* Biggest ladies' man: Blair. "Or at least he thought so anyway."
* Best musician: Mike Cuellar. "He could play the conga drums with good
* Most heartbreaking injury: Ken Tatum's beaning of Blair. "It shattered
both careers. Neither man was ever the same after that. Tatum never threw the
ball well after that. He pitched in fear. He was afraid he was going to hit
* Smartest pitchers: Palmer, Cuellar and Dave McNally. "In that order.
Palmer knew every pitch he threw to every hitter, and he would file it in his
* Biggest know-it-all: Elrod Hendricks. "Earl Weaver always said I was
anyway. Maybe that's why he made me a coach."
* Favorite teammates: Cuellar, Motton, Powell, Watt.
* Best power: Jim Fuller (1973-1974). "He didn't make contact too often,
but when he did, it went a long way. Of course, Frank and my good pal Eddie
[Murray] were the best true power hitters."
* Worst eye at the plate: Fuller. "Frank had Fuller when was managing in
Puerto Rico. Frank put in an entire day working with him on hitting the
breaking ball. In his first at-bat that day, Fuller swung at a pitchout, swung
at it like it was right down Broadway. Frank just dropped his head. He didn't
even shake it. He just dropped it."
* Best two-strike hitters: Davey Johnson and Richie Dauer.
* Best contact hitter: Phil Bradley.
* Best batting practice pitcher: George Bamberger.
Elrod gives the nod to worst, best and rest
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