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?”
“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.”