O's coach speaks to students at Clear Spring Middle School

April 09, 2002|BY DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

CLEAR SPRING - During Elrod Hendricks' eight years in the minor leagues, he was cut twice. But he never gave up on his dream of playing major league baseball.

Through hard work and determination, Hendricks was rewarded with a long career as a player and coach. Hendricks, a catcher, played in the majors from 1968 to 1979, most of that time with the Baltimore Orioles. He has been the Orioles' bullpen coach since 1977. During the first two years he was a player-coach.

Speaking to eighth-graders at Clear Spring Middle School on Monday, Hendricks stressed hard work, a good education and a never-give-up attitude.


"No matter what you do in life you're going to need an education," Hendricks told the approximately 140 students.

Hendricks said he has been speaking to groups of youngsters since he joined the Orioles.

"This gives me the opportunity to give back to the community and meet the fans," he said.

"Hopefully (the students) realize nothing in life is free. You have to work hard for everything," Hendricks said.

He said people should not be afraid to fail. "No one I know has never failed. It's how quickly you bounce back."

Students and teachers said they liked Hendricks' message.

"I think he did a very good job. He held their attention for almost two hours and he had a good message," John Geist, an eighth-grade science teacher, said. "He stressed work ethic. They can't get by doing nothing. Even baseball players have to practice."

Eighth-grader Stephanie Collis said, "I thought he said a lot of things that are important, and relate to us. You shouldn't be worried about what other people are thinking. You should be worrying about school ... And if you work hard enough you can get anything."

"He tells you how the education can help in your life," eighth-grader Dustin Stainbrook said. "Never think you're going to fail. Keep working to your goals. Never give up."

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