Greyhound Keeps Official Orioles Score

Former Greyhounds baseball player and veteran reporter keeps the official score

By Ryan Eigenbrode  |  Photos by David Rehor
Keeping score

In the current sports world, players come and go from teams and cities through free agency and trades, leaving franchises without true faces of the organization. It’s a far cry from years past when Baltimore grew into a city that unabashedly lived and died with its teams’ successes and failures.

Brooks, Boog, Palmer, Cal, “The Earl of Baltimore” are all names synonymous with successful Baltimore Orioles teams that brought championships to Charm City. Those names have long since retired, and the team has experienced notable valleys with few peaks. Through it all, one set of eyes has taken in the Orioles magic.

Former Loyola baseball player Jim Henneman has been affiliated with the sport in Baltimore since becoming a writer who covered the team for the Baltimore News-American in 1973. Working for the News-American, the Baltimore Evening Sun, and eventuallyThe Baltimore Sun, Henneman served as the eyes at the game for readers for 23 seasons.

Since retiring from daily journalism, Henneman has held his current job as an official scorer for Major League Baseball, determining the hits and errors—among other statistics—at more than 60 Orioles’ home games each season.

Southpaw and Scholar

A native of Baltimore and graduate of Calvert Hall College High School, Henneman was a left-handed pitcher at Loyola from 1955-57 and earned All Mason-Dixon Conference honors his final year. “I like to tell people I had a half-scholarship to Loyola for baseball, and half was worth $340 in 1954-55,” Henneman said.

In the spring of 1958, not able to play baseball after a bout of rheumatic fever, Henneman latched on to the News-American’s precursor, the Baltimore News-Post, as a copy boy. Expecting it to be a temporary position, he found himself quickly in a full-time job covering college basketball and lacrosse and various professional sports.

Henneman had planned to finish his degree, but he was so absorbed by his new career that he never returned to Loyola. He has always been grateful to Loyola, however, for the education that launched his career. He stayed with the paper until becoming the public relations director for the NBA’s Baltimore Bullets in 1968, and he returned to the News-American in 1973, focusing his journalism skills on the diamond.

Highs and Lows

During his time as the beat writer, Henneman covered the 1983 World Series Champions, the Orioles’ 1979 American League Championship, and many other notable events.

Henneman was in the press box for the 1988 team that set a modern-day record for baseball futility when it started the season 0-21. He watched Earl Weaver get ejected from 97 games, Cal Ripken, Jr., play in the majority of his record 2,632 consecutive games, and Brooks Robinson play some of the finest third base coverage in history.

“I saw Brooks (Robinson) and Frank (Robinson) and then Eddie (Murray) and Cal (Ripken),” Henneman said. “In between, I saw all kinds of guys. I always enjoyed Boog (Powell), sometimes more than his fans did.”

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