Welcome to the latest edition of the Indy Ball Weekly Perspective
10-year MLB veteran Mark Hendrickson has signed with the York Revolution, according to a March 29 article on Blogtoblogchamps.
Hendrickson hasn’t had your typical career. He was drafted 31st overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1996 NBA Draft. He played four years, spending time with the 76ers, Sacramento Kings, New Jersey Nets, and Cleveland Cavaliers. Inconsistency in minutes and relentless attention paid to him by professional baseball – he was drafted six times between 1992 and 1997 (Atlanta twice, San Diego, Detroit, Texas, and Toronto), resulted in finally signing with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1998.
In 2002, Hendrickson made his debut with the Jays. He went 3-0 with a sparkling 2.45 ERA in 36 innings. Over the course of the next nine years he never matched that sort of success. Having won 58 games, he also lost 74. A career ERA of 5.03 is what it is. Standing at 6’9″, he was never overpowering. He was more of a finesse guy, working the corners and hitting spots to get guys out.
When teams don’t want your services, you have to make your own opportunity. That’s exactly what he did. With no professional offers of any kind on the table during the 2012 season, Hendrickson went back to the amateur game pitching for York Township in the amateur Susquehanna League. A revamped delivery, which included a lower arm slot, increased deception earning him a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles in 2013. He performed admirably for Triple-A Norfolk going 5-3 with a 3.06 ERA in 67 innings. He was granted free agency in November of last year, but thankfully the indy leagues came calling.
At 39, many players are reaching an age when the game can come to an end. Unless Hendrickson dominates the competition, this might be the final stop in a fascinating sports career, but pitching is always at a premium. If Hendrickson puts together some decent numbers, there’s no telling where he could end up.