Robert Edward Henrich, was born on Dec 24, 1938 in Lawrence, Kansas. A distant relative of New York Yankees' Tommy Henrich, Bobby first attracted the attention of pro scouts following his junior year at Compton High School.
Henrich was the center fielder of the Compton Junior Legion team that won a tournament in Anaheim. Henrich was voted "best hustling player" by the scouts. In four years of Legion ball, he compiled a .482 batting average, as well a .484 average in high school. He ran the 100-yard dash in 9.7 seconds, and also played football and basketball in high school before concentrating on baseball his senior year.
He was an excellent student, and made All-Southern California baseball team as a senior. Bobby was offered several college scholarships and was also wooed by many professional baseball teams. The Cincinnati Redlegs got a jump on the other clubs, though, by signing Bobby's father Ed, a junior college coach, as a scout. Soon after, Bobby signed with the Redlegs as a bonus baby for an estimated bonus of $30,000. Since that was after the 1956 season had ended, Bobby went to Compton Community College over the winter, then went to spring training with the Redlegs.
Henrich had played both shortstop and center field in high school; manager Birdie Tebbetts decided to try him out at shortstop, but said he would definitely make it as an outfielder if he didn't succeed there. The former California sprint champion was selected as the Reds' fastest runner in a sportswriters' poll that spring. At only 18 years old, Henrich mainly sat on the bench once the regular season began; he got into 29 games that year, pinch-running in 16 of them, although he would sometimes stay in the game. He filled 5 positions that year. Bobby felt he was getting good experience, saying that the pitching he faced in batting practice in the Majors was better that what he saw in high school.
During the winter, he went to South America and played ball, getting into the International Series with the Carta Vieja club of Panama. With the repeal of the bonus rule, Bobby was allowed to be optioned to the minors in 1958, and he spent the season with the Savannah Sand Gnats in the South Atlantic League, playing third base. The Redlegs recalled him in September and again used him mostly to pinch-run.
In 1959, Henrich returned to Savannah before earning a mid-season promotion to the Redlegs. After a brief stint there, he was sent to the Pacific Coast League, and again was recalled to Cincinnati in September. On November 21, 1959, Bobby married Virginia Lee Brodbeck (October 21, 1940 – December 11, 2004) in Compton, California. The following year found him playing for Nashville in the Southern Association, and after the season, at the age of 22, Henrich left baseball. He went into the insurance business eventually owning an independent insurance agency in Brea, California.
Bobby is a 2nd Cousin, six times removed of Francis Scott Key who penned the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner"
He is a 6th Cousin, six times removed of Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley, founder of Seton Hall University.
He is a 7th Cousin, four times removed of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
( We could not locate a photo of Bobby Henrich. Let us know if you have one )