reserve infielder Marty Krug and
reserve outfielder and pinch-hitter extraordinaire, Olaf Henriksen.
Martin John Krug was born in Koblenz Germany on September 10, 1888. Drafted by the Red Sox in 1911 he made his debut the following May 29th in a 21-8 Red Sox over Washington at Fenway Park. He played a total of 20 games for the Red Sox in Fenway’s inaugural summer, 11 at short, four at second and five as a pinch-hitter. He did not make an appearance in the historic 1912 World Series and the following year he was back in the minor leagues where he played until 1922 returning for a full big league season with the Chicago Cubs. He was back in the minors the following year and in 1927, he retired.
Marty worked as a scout for the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies between 1931 and 1948. After scouting a high school player at Hoover High School in San Diego in the mid 1930s; he spoke with the youngster’s mother offering these words, “he is too skinny and frail to play baseball” and he advised her to “discontinue her son’s playing career out of concern for his safety.” That player was this guy…..
Good call Marty!
Olaf Henriksen, nicknamed “Swede” by his mates, was born in Kirkerup Denmark and remains, to this day, the only player in major league history to be born in Denmark. Joining the Red Sox in 1911, Olaf immediately became known for a proficient, propensity to get on base. It is this quality would define his career which spanned seven years, 321 games and 598 appearances in the left-handed batters box, all with the Boston Red Sox.
Flourishing and reveling in his role, “Swede” made a notable and historic impact in the early years of Fenway Park. The most significant coming in the deciding game of the 1912 World Series. It was the bottom of the seventh inning and Red Sox rookie Hugh Bedient and the Giants incomparable one, Christy Mathewson were locked in a duel. With the Giants, leading 1-0, there two outs and the Sox had Jake Stahl at second and Heinie Wagner (you remember them) at first. Manager Stahl called upon “Swede” to pinch hit for Bedient. The slashing lefty rifled a ball off the third base bag for a double, scoring Stahl and tieing the game which the Red Sox would eventually win in 10 innings to capture Fenway’s first World Championship.
Olaf “Swede” Henricksen was part of two more Fenway Park World Championships in 1915 and “16”. He was around when this kid showed up in 1914.
In a spring training intra squad game in March of 1916, Olaf was playing right field when Babe launched one which was heading over the fence. Not deterred, Henriksen literally ran through the wooden fence and caught the baseball. On July 7th of the same year, “Swede” again made history when he pinch-hit for Babe Ruth against the Indians at Fenway Park. He walked, scored the tieing run in a game the Sox won 2-1.
Olaf “Swede” Henriksen retired following the 1917 campaign and for a couple of years in the early twenties, he coached at Boston College. He settled in Norwood Massachusetts where he was laid to rest in 1962.
And so it was at this time in Fenway Park history, 1912-1917, Marty’s time “Swede’s” time.