Hank Andrulis, better than Votto?

- December 4th, 2011

Legendary Toronto sandlot coach Bob Smyth read our blog during the National League Division Series about standing in the St. Louis Cardinals dugout waiting to speak to Chris Carpenter when a guy in uniform read my credential and asked a question.

“Let me drop a name on you?”

OK.

“Henry Andrulis?” the Cardinal said.

Yep, I’ve heard of him, he played for Team Canada.

“He hit one of the longest home runs off me I ever gave up.”

And you are?

Turned out it was lefty Barry Frank, now a full-time teacher and a part-time batting practice pitcher for the World Series champion Cardinals. He pitched in Toronto two seasons.

“Henry is the best player Bob Smyth has ever coached, there ain’t no number two,” Smyth said.

Hold on a second … Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds, 2010 National League MVP?

“I’ve told Joey that Henry was better, Joey has heard it all before,” Smyth said. “I have coached over 2,500 players over the years and have never seen one better. Never screwed-up in the clutch with the bat and then pitched the ninth for the Etobicoke Indians and shut the other team down.

“He led the league in every possible category and everybody who played in the League knew who was best player.”

Andrulis is still good in the clutch. He now lives in Thorold and is an air traffic controller at Pearson International for previous 20 years.

“Henry never played pro because back then they stereotyped players,” Smyth said. “Henry was not a big guy and peaked at 20. He had more power and faster hands than Dustin Pedroia and could run. He had a left field arm but he accurate.”

Read about Smyth’s all-time Etobicoke team here

Categories: Baseball

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5 comments

  1. Marty Prentice says:

    Hi. Bob. Congrats from my father Bill and his brothers and of course the Late Bobby Prentice who you new well. Stay well, Regards, Martin Prentice (ex Marlie)

  2. matt layfield says:

    Hi Bob,
    Long time passed since Kingscourt baseball…..
    You might remember my dad who worked at the Whig, and I played for Arnie Jarrell in pee wee and bantam.
    Congrats on your induction – I’ve followed your career all of these years, and enjoy your editorials in the paper and banter on 590 The Fan very much.
    You have done Kingston proud, and I look forward to many more years of your entertaining and insightful columns.
    Well done Bob!

  3. John Brown says:

    I pitched against Henry when I played for Welland. He could really mash the ball.

  4. Billy Low says:

    Thanks Mr.Elliott, for finally giving “Henry call me Hank” his due;excellent ball player with a great bat;who could also play a real solid centre field.Off the field he was a pleasure to know.Perhaps you could contact Howie Burnie and get his list out of Leaside ……that was the ONLY team Hank ever really had trouble with!!!Way to go Henry,you deserve this kind of recognition….and thanks Bob for keeping Canadian ballplayers in the forefront;these guys are second to none.

  5. Brian Thrower says:

    Bob: I had the pleasure of playing basketball with, and against, Charlie Pester. Was it you who said that Pester was the best athlete to come out of Kingston

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