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"And he gave all of us hats."
"Show him your hat, Bobby."
The 2-year-old takes off his hat, and under the bill, clear as day, is the autograph, "George Hendrick." Bobby smiles and says something that sounds like "Jaws Hendik."
What else is there to tell about Jaws Hendik? He lives in Diamond Bar, Calif. His 13-year-old son, Brian, is more than 6 feet tall and could be in the NBA before long, and his 8-year-old son, Damon, is an NFL prospect. Hendrick and his wife are separated. He has three cars—a Volvo, a Porsche and a Model T Ford—plus a Dodge van. Keating has some of Hendrick's money invested in racehorses. Hendrick is a basketball fanatic and is friends with almost all the Lakers, particularly Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson. He sent Magic a Cardinals cap, and Magic sent him a good-luck telegram before the second game of the Series. He has no Cardinal insignia on his batting helmet because he once had a good night when the decal was omitted after the helmet had been repainted. He dresses in a well-protected corner of the locker room. On his locker there is a plaque that says WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY. NOW WATCH SOME BASTARD LOUSE IT UP.
And he's a man only a few select people, like the Hohns, have gotten to know.
"He tells us stories about the other players and how they kid each other."
"Sometimes he makes little bets with Pete Rose and Steve Garvey."
"I don't know if we should be telling you all of this."
"Yeah, George might not like it."
Probably not. But then, who's to say.