Tommy Henrich played in some of the greatest Yankees' teams of the 20th century. His teammates were Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Gordon, Bill Dickey, Phil Rizzuto, and Yogi Berra. Naturally, Henrich was always in the background.
Nevertheless, he had a great career. It was cut short by 3 seasons of military service, 1942-45.
He was also a key player in Joe DiMaggio's 56 hitting streak, as Rob Edelman wrote:
In 1941 Henrich played a significant role in keeping alive Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak. On June 26, the 38th game of the streak, the Yankee Clipper was still hitless as the team came to bat in the last of the eighth inning holding the lead against the St. Louis Browns.Henrich retired with a .282 average & 183 HR.
DiMaggio was due up fourth in the inning, with Henrich scheduled right before him. With one out and Red Rolfe on first, McCarthy ordered Henrich to bunt to avoid a possible ground-ball double play—and not allowing his teammate a final at-bat. Henrich was thrown out, but Rolfe took second.
DiMaggio slammed Elden Auker’s first pitch for a double, and the streak remained intact.
Yankees broadcaster Mel Allen began calling Henrich “Old Reliable”—the name of a train that ran from Ohio to Alabama and was celebrated for always being on time—because of his propensity for hitting in the clutch.
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