Olaf Henriksen

“Pinch hit hero mobbed by rabid Red Sox enthusiasts” was a sub-headline of the October 17, 1912, edition of the Boston Globe reporting on young Olaf Henriksen’s game-tying base hit in the eighth and deciding game of the 1912 World Series, against a dominant Christy Mathewson. It was a crucial blow off the great Mathewson, who pitched his heart out that day in a memorable performance, opening the door for the Boston team to win the game and World Series, Boston’s second Series triumph, in extra innings.

Henriksen, a seldom-used reserve outfielder in his first full season with the Red Sox, deflated Mathewson with that hit and suddenly became a Boston hero. “The psychological kid,” roared one rooter. And then, “After that the rooters never seemed to lose their confidence.” Neither did the team. “The fever of victory mounted and mounted.” i

Olaf Henriksen was born on April 26, 1888, in Kirkerup, Denmark, which is now part of the town of Roskilde. He was the third of nine children born to Jens Peter and Anna S. (Olsen) Henriksen, who emigrated from Denmark to the United States in 1888. They landed in New York, moved to Wareham, Massachusetts, near Cape Cod, where the family initially resided, and then to Canton, Massachusetts, a town south of Boston, where young Olaf and his siblings were raised.

Anna Henriksen died on December 17, 1908, at the young age of 46. Her husband, Jens Peter Henriksen, died in 1930 at 72. They are buried in the family plot in Wareham’s Centre Cemetery.

Little is known about Olaf Henriksen’s formative years in Wareham. It is presumed that he was schooled in the Wareham educational system in the lower grades. Family history supported by 1900 US Census information places Olaf with his family in Canton at the age of 12. The census report shows him “at school” then, but Olaf does not appear on Canton High School’s baseball team, though he did play on Canton’s town teams. According to current family members, Olaf most likely left school at an early age, which was common then, to help support the family. Olaf’s father, Jens Peter, worked as a laborer in the Tremont Nail Factory in Wareham, which was still in operation in 2010.ii

Olaf was known by several nicknames including The Little General, The Owl, Kid Henriksen, and Little Henriksen given by friends and teammates, but the one that stood out during his major-league years was Hennie. To a lesser extent he was called Swede, frequently listed in baseball fact-books and encyclopedias as an “official” nickname for him that was not germane since Olaf was a Dane. He holds the distinction of being as of 2010 the only Danish-born athlete to play major-league baseball.iii

Henriksen was of small stature, standing 5-feet-7½ inches tall with an average weight of 158 pounds. He threw and batted from the left side. Described as a slashing-type batsman, Henriksen was a contact hitter, spraying the ball to all fields. He had a good batting eye with a knack for getting on base, whether by base hits or bases on balls making him a specialty-type hitter, an ability that served him well when he reached the major leagues. Adding to that, he had great speed — “one of the fastest men in the country,” boasted Red Sox President James McAleer in a January 7, 1912, Boston Post article — and thus always a threat to score once he was on base.

Henriksen, who emerged as pro baseball’s consummate “pinch-man,” first appears in organized ball in June of 1904, when he had turned 16, playing for a local town team, the Eliot Athletic Association of Canton. The town’s newspaper, the Canton Journal, announced the arrival of young Henriksen with much praise: “The Eliot A.A. played with new men and were fortunate in picking one in particular that will be an addition to the strength of the team if they can secure him. We mean Hendrickson, [sic] who is a star fielder and played center in last Saturday’s game [June 18].” Such was his standout play that day that the local scribe issued a warning to the older players: “Certain members had better not think they are the only, only; they may find a vote or two will make a difference in whether or not they are needed.”iv His play continued to impress that year, both at bat and in the field, as he shifted between infield – playing shortstop – and outfield positions.

In 1905 the Eliot A.A. built a state-of-the-art baseball park near the center of town known as Wentworth Field, “making it convenient to reach by electrics,” reported the Canton Journal, and “The Association will wire the grounds for arc and incandescent lights.” The Association also secured a building on the grounds that the players, including Henriksen, used as a dressing room. High-caliber baseball was played there against strong teams, some with former major leaguers and former minor-league players on their rosters, from nearby South Boston, Stoughton, Roxbury, and Hyde Park, among them, coming to play due to the convenience of the park to public transportation to and from outlying towns.v Olaf was in fast company now; many of his teammates and opponents alike were older, some twice his age, and were mostly seasoned ballplayers.

Now 17, Olaf divided his time between Canton town teams and, for one game, was a walk-on player for a highly-regarded Stoughton semipro team in a July 13, 1905, contest against the Brockton Tigers, a good minor-league ballclub. Stoughton lost the game, 6-3, but Henriksen “had five putouts in centre field,” wrote the Canton Journal.vi Henriksen appeared to be earning some money for the first time playing part-time semipro ball. This arrangement continued into 1906 when at the age of 18 Olaf played for the Canton Athletic Association ballclub, occasionally also appearing for other athletic clubs and semipro teams of surrounding towns.

His breakout year was 1907, when Henriksen, 19, caught on late in the season with the semipro Stoughton team – the Stoughtons – of the newly-formed Old Colony League. Olaf began the year with a local club, the Norwoods of Norwood, Massachusetts, playing with them through the first week in July. He then hooked up briefly with Hyde Park, also of the Old Colony League, and went on to play for the Stoughton team, first appearing for them on August 3 in a game against South Weymouth for the much-heralded Southeastern Massachusetts Championship. Olaf managed a base hit, but more than that convinced his manager that he was deserving of a permanent roster spot by making a perfect game-ending peg to home plate nailing the runner and securing a regional championship for Stoughton. He started the rest of the way for the Stoughtons, who eventually lost the Old Colony League championship to Taunton in the final game of the season. Henriksen was credited with a .304 batting average for “six games,” according to the Stoughton Sentinel.vii

Henriksen’s solid performance at the end of the 1907 season earned him a starting berth with the 1908 Stoughton team, playing center field. Stoughton finished in second place (shared with two other teams, the Deweys and Randolph) with a 12-8 record, behind first-place Taunton, led by their star pitcher, Buck O’Brien, who later became a 20-game winner for the 1912 Red Sox and a teammate of Henriksen’s. Olaf, meanwhile, rapped out 26 base hits in the 20 games, finishing with a .329 batting average.

John Blake, a scout for the minor-league Brocktons of the New England League, a Class B league, spotted Henriksen playing for the Stoughtons and quickly signed him to his first professional baseball contract at the conclusion of the 1908 Old Colony League season. Brockton’s well-regarded manager, Steve Flanagan, anxious to lift his team from its fourth-place finish of the previous year, was willing to “try out a score or more of new men” to bolster his team of mostly “old men.”viii

Henriksen impressed from the start, both in the field and at bat. On April 12 Brockton held its first spring workout and Henriksen “did some great work” in the field, and “stung the ball on the nose every time,” reported the Brockton Times. A sub-heading in the Times sports column the following day read, “Henricksen Begins to Shine in the Outfield.” ix

In two practice games Henriksen went 2-for-4 and scored three runs. Manager Flanagan, reluctant though he was to place too much emphasis on youth, “gave Henricksen another trial,” reported the Times, and he rose to the occasion. Playing against a strong Double-A Montreal team, he went 2-for-3 with a triple and one outfield assist; against Bridgeport of the Connecticut League, he was 2-for-5. This was convincing enough for manager Flanagan, who put Olaf in the starting lineup in right field on opening day, April 23, against a talent-laden 1908 New England League champion Worcester team.

Amid the hometown hoopla of a parade and flag-raising ceremony celebrating Worcester’s prior-year championship, the new-look Brockton team began the season with a convincing 7-3 win. It began: “Henricksen, a new man to Brockton, was first man up. He waited for a base on balls,” and then, as the Brockton Times reported, was bunted to second, and later scored. He made four plate appearances, was 1-for-2, walked, reached base after being hit by a pitch, and scored three of Brockton’s runs. Getting on base, however it was to be accomplished, would become Olaf’s trademark throughout his pro baseball career.

However, after his quick start Henriksen faded. By the end of May he was batting .163, at the bottom of Brockton’s starting nine. Yet manager Flanagan stayed with him, realizing his value as a leadoff hitter, his range in the field, speed on the base paths, and his uncanny ability to get on base and score runs. Overall the manager liked his gutsy style.

A sportswriter for the Brockton Times, noting Henriksen’s low batting average, wrote favorably of Olaf by illustrating his highly productive qualities and otherwise immense value to the team: “This boy Henriksen is no world beater at the bat, but just keep watch on the run column. He has scored 29 runs and has reached first on hits only 19 times. If he doesn’t get by on hits, he lands some other way.”x

By the beginning of July, Henriksen had the lowest batting average on the team at .128, but was far and away the most productive player with 45 runs scored. Brockton was in second place. But Olaf caught fire and by mid-July, had raised his batting average to .220. Even more remarkably, he had scored 61 runs, 25 more than his nearest teammate, and he was second in the league in runs scored.

But on July 26 in a game against the first-place Lynn team, Henriksen, enjoying the momentum of playing good baseball, was suddenly hurt when he tagged up at third attempting to score on a fly to short center. “It was a chance that few men would take, but Henriksen made for home as though his life depended on it,” reported the Brockton Times. “Henriksen had shot for the plate feet foremost in a daring slide,” wrenching his ankle under him as he crossed the plate. He had to be carried from the field and his season appeared in jeopardy.xi

Olaf shocked them all, however, when only two games later he pinch-hit, and was back in the lineup after that. “Henriksen is not in perfect shape. … The youngster is so anxious to play that he returned to the game before he should,” reported the Brockton Times on Olaf’s surprised participation in spite of a lingering injury.xii

Brockton finished the 1909 season in second place behind repeat champion Worcester. Henriksen had raised his batting average to a modest .254. He tied for the league lead in runs scored with 88.

The 1910 season was woeful for the Brockton team, which finished in last place, 29 games behind league leader New Bedford. Henriksen batted .256 and once again took team honors for runs scored with 66. He placed second on the club and third in the league with 46 stolen bases. A Brockton sportswriter, mentioning the all-important major-league draft after minor-league play, wrote, “A league team may pick up Henriksen, although the youngster’s work was no improvement over that of last season.”xiii

An enthusiastic crowd of 2,400 fans, the largest turnout for an “opening game” in Brockton up to then, was present for the team’s 1911 home opener on April 28. Olaf was a crowd favorite as he helped his club beat Haverhill, 5-2. “Henriksen pleased the crowd with that same ability to get on the bags that he showed last year,” reported the Brockton Daily Enterprise. “He landed a single and a triple, and worked a base on balls, besides getting a sacrifice hit. He scored three times, and stole a base.”

By the first week in June Henriksen was leading his team in hitting with a .343 batting average, among the league leaders. He was playing at a torrid pace on both offense and defense. On July 13 he became the first New England Leaguer to reach the esteemed level of 100 base hits, banging out a triple – his 10th – against Lynn, raising his batting average to .356, and putting him in contention for the lead in runs scored (63). “His hitting, fielding, and speed on the bases have already attracted attention of the scouts and before Aug. 15, when the drafting season starts, it would not be unlikely if the promising youngster is sold,” reported the Brockton Daily Enterprise.”xiv

“It takes fast fielding to keep this boy from getting on and twice yesterday he beat out hits to the infield,” wrote the Enterprise in its report Henriksen’s big day, July 27, against Lynn when he set a new mark for Brockton by stroking five base hits in a single game, raising his average to .359.xv Major-league scouts were now swirling around ballparks where Henriksen played, hoping to pluck the youngster for the majors. “The Boston Red Sox management is interested in both men [Henriksen and shortstop Walter Lonergan of Brockton] and it is thought is likely to get its pick any time now,” according to the Enterprise on July 28.

And so it was on August 10 that Olaf Henriksen was purchased by the Boston Red Sox in a five-player deal, Henriksen and Lonergan going to the Red Sox in exchange for Steve White, first baseman Tracy Baker, shortstop Joe Giannini, and $4,000 in cash. The Enterprise, in its lament of the loss of “Kid” Henriksen, hailed the young outfielder as “one of the sweetest hitters that ever played in the New England League, and his friends have little fear about his making good in fast company, even in competition with a star outfield like Speaker, Hooper and Lewis.”xvi Henriksen finished his season with Brockton batting .349 with a league-leading 142 base hits, 87 runs scored (second in the league), 199 total bases, 28 doubles, 10 triples, and 3 home runs.

The Red Sox, not playing well and struggling with injuries, wasted no time calling on the recruit as a replacement for an injured Harry Hooper in a series against Connie Mack’s world champion Athletics, in Philadelphia’s Shibe Park. Olaf had taken a train from Boston to Philadelphia the night before, and with no time for rest was immediately pressed into action, making his major-league debut on August 11 playing both ends of a doubleheader.

His debut was a stunning success. He went 4-for-9 in the doubleheader and made a sensational catch off Jack Coombs to end the second game and save a win for the Red Sox. The Boston Globe praised him: “He is fast on his feet, is full of confidence at the bat, and his teammates believe that in Henriksen President Taylor has picked up a genuine find.”xvii Matched against future Hall of Famer Chief Bender, the winner of 23 games in 1910, Henriksen belted out three base hits. On his first plate appearance before a crowd of 10,000 rabid A’s fans, Olaf, in his typical hitting style lashed a ball to the left side of the infield too hot to handle for third baseman Frank Baker that went by him for a single. He later hit a double, and in the second game he beat out an infield grounder and worked a base on balls.

Seven days later Henriksen banged out four hits against Ty Cobb’s Tigers. By August 21 he was leading the club in hitting with a .433 average (with a very small sample). But on August 27 in Chicago, Henriksen and Tris Speaker collided in the outfield chasing a fly ball, which went for a triple. Olaf fractured a rib and had an ankle injury, while Speaker had bruises. It was thought that Henriksen’s injuries “might be fatal,” according to the Globe. Harry Hooper, meanwhile, returned to the lineup. Henriksen returned to action briefly on September 5, filling in for Duffy Lewis, but the Red Sox regulars were now recovered from their injuries, and Henriksen was quickly relegated to pinch-hitting duties and backing up Speaker, Hooper, and Lewis, foreshadowing his future role with the Red Sox.

Henriksen continued to be plagued with a lame ankle and on September 14 was declared out for the balance of the season. But the imperturbable young outfielder was back in action on September 30, playing right field for Hooper in a doubleheader against Chicago; “Harry Hooper’s understudy,” as one paper noted, continued to play productively playing the remaining games in place of the injured Hooper. Henriksen finished his rookie year with a .366 batting average (34-for-93).

As much as he delighted in the experience of playing major-league baseball, especially for a good team like the Red Sox, Henriksen had the misfortune to be playing at the same time as the Million Dollar Outfield of Speaker, Hooper, and Lewis, arguably the finest outfield combination ever to play the game. Yet, the October 9, 1911, edition of the Boston Globe quite determinedly avowed “that a place will have to be found for this boy on next year’s team as he looks to be a real find. He is as fast as a streak and a good hitter.”

When the 1912 season started, on the road, Olaf found himself in a familiar role of sub behind the famous outfield trio. He played in his first game of the season on Opening Day, April 20, at the new Fenway Park before a packed house of 24,000 spectators against the New York Highlanders. He pinch-hit for pitcher O’Brien with the bases full, and he did so magnificently by drawing a walk, forcing in a run. The Red Sox went on to beat New York, 7-6.

Henriksen was being used sparingly, playing in just 19 games by the first week in July with a .250 batting average; a total of 28 games by the end of August, batting .239; and 41 games by September 30 at .296. On September 18 the Red Sox officially won the AL pennant. At season’s end Henriksen had played in only 44 games with a respectable .321 batting average, and a .457 on-base percentage. Little did he realize at the time, however, what a significant part he would play in the 1912 World Series, about to take place between John McGraw’s Giants and Jake Stahl’s Red Sox.

The Series, considered one of the great baseball spectacles of all time, went to eight games (the second game having ended in a 6-6 tie, called due to darkness after 11 innings), with the Red Sox winning, four games to three. In the deciding eighth game, Christy “Big Six” Mathewson, a 23-game winner in 1912 and one of the great moundsmen known to the game, was pitching magnificently, shutting down the Red Sox without a run and only four hits through six innings. It appeared unlikely he was going to crack. The Giants managed a run in the third inning against a tough Hugh Bedient, winner of 20 for the Red Sox against nine defeats.

In the bottom of the seventh, though, with one out, player-manager Stahl got a Texas League single. Heinie Wagner walked. Catcher Hick Cady popped to short. Stahl motioned to 24-year old sub Olaf Henriksen to grab a bat. “I was certain – cocksure – that I could beat Matty,” declared a confident Henriksen.xviii

“Then Matty stood for an instant, and I knew he was undecided what to feed me. None of them knew what I liked, and right then and there I decided to take a good look at the first one, no matter what it was,” said a determined Olaf. He took a curveball for a strike and then another that he waved at, for strike two. Then, expecting Mathewson to waste a few, Olaf waited on two more pitches that didn’t miss by much. Matty threw another curveball. Henriksen was waiting for it, reached out, and smacked it toward third base just inside the foul line. “I saw the ball strike the bag and go bounding out into the field,” said Henriksen. “I knew I was safe, knew I had done what was expected of me and I was glad.”xix Stahl scored and Henriksen dashed to second with a game-tying double, keeping Red Sox hopes alive. The Giants scored a run in the 10th to regain the lead, setting the stage for one of the great finishes in World Series history, as the Red Sox came back with two runs, abetted by the famous error by outfielder Fred Snodgrass.

The great Tris Speaker, penning his comments about the Series for the Boston Daily Globe, praised Henriksen as one of its heroes: “This young player showed wonderful nerve in the emergency, and it was he who put the Boston club in a position to make the fight it did and gave it an opportunity to win the game, which went into extra innings.”xx

The Red Sox were a disappointment in 1913, finishing in fourth place. Once more Henriksen was used sparingly, but he was playing well in key roles assigned him by manager Stahl. Through May 29 he had played in 16 games and was batting .310. But on that day after a game in Washington, in which he started, Henriksen had a severe attack of appendicitis. Immediate surgery was recommended, but Olaf declined, saying he felt better the next day. On June 5 the scrappy little outfielder appeared back in uniform, and was lauded by the press: “One of the pleasing events of the afternoon was the appearance of Olaf Henriksen after his illness, showing that this clever player is ready when called upon.”xxi He continued to play and by July 7 was batting .351. Then on July 12 Olaf was stricken again with appendicitis and was operated on in Chicago. He was out of action for nine weeks, returning gallantly on September 11 in a pinch-hit role. He played little after that, and finished the season batting .375 (15-for-40) with a .468 on-base percentage.xxii

In 1914, the year that marked the arrival in Boston of the new kid, George Herman “Babe” Ruth, Henriksen played in 63 games, batting .263, and hit his only major-league home run, on October 6, against Washington’s Harry Harper. The Red Sox finished in second place. In 1915 and 1916 the Red Sox once again rose to the top, playing in the World Series each year, and winning each four games to one both times. Henriksen, who had batted only .196 in 73 games, a career high, during the ’15 season, was 0-for-2 in the Series. He appeared once as a pinch-hitter, walked, and scored in the ’16 Series. He batted only .202 during the 1916 season in a career-high 99 at-bats. Despite his anemic hitting in 1915-16, Henriksen still managed to get on base one-third of the time, drawing 18 walks to go with his 18 hits in 1915 and 19 walks with 20 hits in 1916.

On March 17, 1916, in a team practice game, an occasion on which Henriksen became a thorn in the Babe’s side, he caught up to a certain home-run ball hit by Ruth, crashing against the fence and ripping out a couple of boards in the process. Ruth was disgruntled and “cracked him in the side with an inshoot” when Olaf later came to bat.

On July 7, 1916, in a game at Fenway Park, Henriksen established himself as one of the few men to pinch-hit for Babe Ruth, a further annoyance to the Bambino. Ruth had been pitching a fabulous game against Cleveland, but was behind 1-0. In the seventh inning the Red Sox filled the bases with one out. Ruth was the next batter. Manager Bill Carrigan gave the Babe instructions when he went to the plate, but Ruth ignored him, whereupon he was immediately pulled by the manager, who replaced him with Henriksen. Olaf worked a pass, forcing in the tying run. Boston went on to win, 2-1.xxiii

Because of financial wars that occurred between players and teams after the upstart Federal League collapsed in 1915, owners were looking to cut player salaries. A Baseball Players’ Fraternity – not quite a union – was soon formed, and among the original 10 or 12 members of the group who met with their president, Dave Fultz, in a meeting on January 18, 1917, were Red Sox players Larry Gardner, Hal Janvrin, Babe Ruth, and Olaf Henriksen. It did not set well with major-league ownership.

Whether the Red Sox and their owner, Harry Frazee, became disenchanted with Henriksen because of his involvement with the Fraternity, and thus the reason he was released by the team, cannot be reconciled. He had played in a scant 15 games with one base hit and a .083 batting average that year. On June 30, 1917, he was let go, sold outright to Roger Bresnahan’s Toledo Mud Hens of the American Association. Olaf refused to report to Toledo and on July 5 was given his unconditional release by the Red Sox.

Henriksen went to work for Willard Battery, a Massachusetts-based companyxxiv He also played and coached for the Fore River semipro team of the Bethlehem Steel League, in Boston’s South Shore area, in 1918, along with such other former major-league notables as Eddie Plank and Dutch Leonard.xxv

In 1921 news accounts of local baseball activity found Henriksen playing for and coaching a team called Olaf Henriksen’s Canton team, which played other local teams, including teams of the Cape Cod League. In 1922 Boston College hired him to coach its baseball team. In his three seasons there, through 1924, he had winning teams each year, including in 1923 a remarkable 30-3 record, an intercollegiate record of 22 victories in a row, and an intercollegiate championship.xxvi

Semipro baseball was thriving in the New England area in the 1920s. Henriksen latched onto one such team, the Grow Tire Company of Boston, playing for it in 1922 at the age of 34. In one game of note, played on October 15 in Rhode Island, Grow Tire competed against a team known as “St. Louis,” a Rhode Island club, with pros Carl Mays and Wally Schang in its lineup. Henriksen rapped three base hits off Mays.xxvii

Henriksen became self-employed sometime in the middle to late 1920s, working as a painting contractor in and around the Canton area.xxviii

On May 2, 1962, Olaf attended a reunion at Fenway Park with remaining members of the 1912 team celebrating the 50th anniversary of their World Series championship. Six months later, on October 17, Henriksen died of lung cancer at the age of 74. His wife, Mary, known as Mamie, died in 1969. They had two children. Peter Francis, born on April 24, 1910, died in June 1990, and Catherine, born in September 1916, was still living as of 2010.

Given his relatively short career, it is impressive that Henriksen’s 29 pinch hits ranks him fifth all-time among Red Sox hitters, tied with Hall of Famer Joe Cronin and Jason Varitek.xxix A feature article on Henriksen written in 1916 artfully described his real importance to the team, for being “Only [a] Pinch-Hitter,” and gave clarity on how he was truthfully viewed by the Boston fans and newsmen of the day:

“He is a good waiter in the business sense as well as up at the plate, and he will make his selection after looking them over to the limit. … As Olaf strolls up from the dugout, when Manager Carrigan calls on him to deliver, the fans see the picture of that clean drive [off Mathewson, 1912 World Series]. ‘Hennie’ is but human. He doesn’t always come through, but as pinch-hitters go, ‘Hennie’ is about the best in the game.”xxx



I owe much gratitude to various living members of the Henriksen family, direct and indirect descendants, who assisted me with the research of this biography project; among them Marie (Henriksen) Leary, Olaf’s granddaughter; Jens Peter Henriksen, his nephew; Marie (Henriksen) Landers, his niece; and Jill Griffin, his grandniece. Also, my appreciation to Jim Roche, past president and researcher of Canton Historical Society, Canton, Massachusetts; Charlie Stevenson, member of the Canton Sports Hall of Fame; Patty Ryburn and Mark Lague of the Canton Public Library; Amy Braitsch, assistant archival librarian, Burns Library, Boston College; St. John’s Rectory, Canton, Massachusetts; staff of the Stoughton and Norwood Public Libraries; Richard Peterson of Plymouth, Massachusetts.



i Frank P. Sibley, “Game of a Lifetime,” Boston Daily Globe, October 17, 1912, 5.

ii Information received from Michelle Ruiz, administrative assistant to superintendent of Wareham School District, and Scott Pyy, vice principal of Wareham High School, shows that Olaf was not attending Wareham schools in 1900 or after; also, Jens Peter Henriksen, whose father was Arnold, brother of Olaf, stated that his father quit school in the eighth grade, and very likely Olaf, two years older than brother Arnold, did the same; Thanks to Jens Peter Henriksen, the grandson and namesake of Jens Peter. Correspondence and December 15, 2009, interview.

iii http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Olaf Henriksen; Boston University School of Theology Library Archives, E-Resources. “The Only Danish-Born Person Ever to Play in the Major Leagues,” copyright 2009; Bill Nowlin and Jim Prime, The Boston Red Sox World Series Encyclopedia, (Burlington, Massachusetts: Rounder Books, 2008). The US Census information of 1900 and 1910 shows a family name spelling of Hendrickson. However, the inscription on the Wareham family burial monument reads Henriksen, the Danish spelling. Olaf’s name listed on the 1910 Census also shows Hendrickson, but his World Wars I and II draft cards and other official documents properly read Henriksen.

iv “Baseball Notes,” Canton (Massachusetts) Journal, June 24, 1904, 3.

v Wentworth Field, over 105 years since its construction, remains a baseball field today. Olaf Henriksen not only played there in his youth, but also umpired there post-Red Sox years, per May 22, 2009 interview of Canton resident Charlie Stevenson, Canton High School football coach and member of Canton Sports Hall of Fame.

vi “Baseball,” Canton Journal, July 14, 1905, 8.

vii “The Season: Summary of the Work of the Stoughton Baseball Club for Year 1907,” Stoughton (Massachusetts) Sentinel, October 19, 1907, 1.

viii “Baseball Is Near at Hand,” Brockton (Massachusetts) Times, March 23, 1909, 20.

ix “He Looks Like First Baseman,” Brockton Times, April 13, 1909, 16.

x Brockton Times, June 11, 1909, 16.

xi “Lynn Wins by Scant Margin,” Brockton Times, July 27, 1909, 12.

xii “Crippled Team Rounding To,” Brockton Times, August 9, 1909, 10.

xiii “Ends Season In Last Place,” Brockton Times, September 12, 1910, 12.

xiv “Henriksen First to Make 100 Hits: Brockton Outfielder Turns the Trick – It’s His Banner Season,” Brockton Daily Enterprise, July 14, 1911, 10.

xv “Brockton and Lynn Play to a Draw, 5 to 5 – Darkness: Henriksen Gathers Five Hits,” Brockton Daily Enterprise, July 28, 1911, 10.

xvi “Lonergan and Henriksen Pass to Red Sox Today,” Brockton Daily Enterprise. August 11, 1911, 10.

xvii “Henriksen Stars In Fast Company,” Brockton Times, August 12, 1911, 6, quoting the Boston Post of same date.

xviii Mike Vaccaro. The First Fall Classic (New York: Doubleday, 2010), 239.

xix Olaf Henriksen, “Waiting All Through Series For Just That Chance,” Boston Daily Globe, October 17, 1912, 7.

xx Tris Speaker, “Final Game Hardest of the World Series,” Boston Daily Globe. October 17, 1912, 7.

xxi T.H. Murnane, “Red Sox Lose 5-0,” Boston Daily Globe, June 6, 1913, 7.

xxii “Cobb’s Batting Lead in American League, 19 Points,” Boston Daily Globe, October 6, 1913, 7.

xxiii T.H. Murnane, “Indians Start Fast, Red Sox Finish Faster,” Boston Daily Globe, July 8, 1916, 4.

xxiv Marie (Henriksen) Leary, interview December 20, 2009: 1920 US Census, “battery repairer”

xxv “Leonard Loses in Duel With Plank,” Boston Daily Globe, June 30, 1918, 12. Although Dutch Leonard was still on the Red Sox payroll in 1918, he was found also to be playing with Henriksen for the Fall River semipro team.

xxvi 1925 Boston College Yearbook, 247.

xxvii “Grow Tire Shut Out, Batting Against Mays,” Boston Daily Globe, October 16, 1922, 8.

xxviii Marie (Henriksen) Leary, interview December 20, 2009: 1930 US Census.

xxix Gary Gillette and Pete Palmer. The Ultimate Red Sox Companion (Hingham, Massachusetts: Maple Street Press, 2007), 285; Baseball-Reference.com Batting Game Logs

xxx Herman Nickerson, “Only ‘pinch-hitter,’ But Real Star Henriksen Invaluable Aid to Sox.” July 22, 1916, from Boston College Archives, John J. Burns Library.

Full Name

Olaf Henriksen


April 26, 1888 at Kirkerup, (Denmark)


October 17, 1962 at Norwood, MA (USA)

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