Earlier than a latest recreation, with the music blaring inside Oakland’s clubhouse, A’s pitcher Liam Hendriks reached into his locker and grabbed two of his favourite issues.
A ball and glove?
Not fairly. As his teammates thumbed their good telephones or performed playing cards on a close-by desk, Hendriks picked up his noise-cancelling headphones and a hardback copy of “Morning Star” by Pierce Brown, a 2016 science fiction novel that’s the third in Brown’s Pink Rising trilogy.
“I prefer to immerse myself in books,” Hendriks stated. “I get misplaced in a universe. I can learn a ebook, and every part else disappears. There have been occasions the place I’ve ended up practically being late to a recreation as a result of I’m sitting there, misplaced in a chapter, and I hold turning pages.”
“He’ll fireplace by means of books,” A’s catcher Josh Phegley stated. “It’s like each time I really discover him studying, it’s a special ebook. He reads so much.”
(As Phegley stated this, Hendriks was studying a ebook.)
Hendriks’ favourite genres embody Sci-fi, fantasy and historic fiction. He just lately completed a ebook concerning the Battle of Hastings in 1066, with the twist that it was from a Frenchman’s standpoint. Subsequent up on Hendriks’ studying record is a biography on hockey commentator Don Cherry, adopted by “The Clever Man’s Worry,” by Patrick Rothfuss.
It’s a part of a brand new studying plan the 30-year-old Australian adopted throughout spring coaching, the place he completed eight books in roughly six weeks. The aim is normally round a ebook per week.
“I at all times really feel like I put myself into [a character’s] scenario, which in accordance with my spouse is unnerving as a result of there are some books I learn the place the principle character is feminine,” Hendriks stated with amusing. “I like getting misplaced in a world.
“I like with the ability to decipher my very own feelings towards the character. A TV present, it’s written on their faces. It’s written in the best way it’s directed and acted. Whereas a ebook, there’s wording towards it, however it’s important to join the dots. I like connecting the dots.”
Changing into a bookworm was just about inevitable for Hendriks, whose father is the principal of an indigenous agricultural faculty again residence. His mother, who taught him in elementary faculty, now works for a corporation that distributes academic video games and books.
“I couldn’t get away from it,” Hendriks joked.
After highschool, Hendriks didn’t go to school. He got here to America to pursue baseball. However clearly he’s not one-dimensional. In highschool, one thing that piqued Hendriks’ curiosity was laptop programming, an avenue he’d prefer to probably discover after baseball. Hendriks’ spouse, Kristi, has her grasp’s diploma in forensic psychology and just lately opened her personal clothes retailer.
For his or her five-year marriage ceremony anniversary, Liam and Kristi went to Europe for 19 days and took solely carry-ons. No books, Kristi informed Liam.
Phegley understands. “I really feel like his trip can be studying books,” Phegley stated.
Hendriks ended up shopping for a Kindle, though he enormously prefers the page-turning of a paper ebook. He isn’t an enormous fan of audio books – solely throughout lengthy drives, he stated – however he does need to strive immersion studying, which entails studying the ebook whereas listening to it.
“Apparently it’s a reasonably cool expertise since you get the emotional ties from whomever is studying it,” Hendriks stated. “You’ll be able to decipher sure issues when you’re studying it.”
The Don Cherry ebook is an enormous one for Hendricks, as a result of he has develop into a rabid hockey fan. Kristi, a aggressive determine skater, launched him to the sport. She spent a few of her youth in Quebec, pulling for the Montreal Canadiens.
Liam is loopy concerning the Canadiens, too, though he referred to as the Sharks “his American workforce.” He even has a connection: He performed minor-league baseball with Aaron Bates, the son-in-law of Sharks GM Doug Wilson.
He jokes that hockey may be what bought him to the Bay Space. Hendriks was traded by Toronto to Oakland in 2015, not lengthy after attending the Toronto Maple Leafs’ residence opener.
“They gave us all Leafs stuff,” he stated. “And there’s me — entrance and middle in all Canadiens gear.”