Cubs pitcher once played ball in Valley as a youth |

Cubs pitcher once played ball in Valley as a youth

Kyle Hendricks
Ron Vesely |

In mid-October 2002, Kyle Hendricks was playing for the Douglas American Legion 14-and-under fall baseball team.

On Friday night, Carson Valley baseball fans had an opportunity to watch Hendricks again, only this time he was on television starting on the mound for the Chicago Cubs against the Cleveland Indians in Game 3 of the World Series. The 6-foot-3 right-hander pitched 4.1 innings of six-hit ball in Game 3 — the game was scoreless when he exited — and the Cubs eventually came up on the short end of a 1-0 score at Wrigley Field.

A Chicago win Tuesday in Game 6 could set the stage for a matchup between Hendricks and Corey Kluber in Game 7 tonight in Cleveland.

Hendricks was 12 years old when he played for the Douglas fall ball team, including one double header on the Douglas High School JV field against a travel team from Oakland, according to the Oct. 19, 2002 edition of The Record-Courier. He hit 2-for-4 with two RBI in the first game and then pitched five innings of eight-hit ball in the second game.

Dennis Young was coaching that Douglas 14-and-under team and remembers how well Hendricks could hit.

“Oh, boy, he could swing it,” said Young. “He was an excellent player and could hit the heck out of the ball.”

Hendricks briefly attended Carson Valley Middle School — where he played one basketball season — before his family moved to Southern California. The JT Basque Bar & Dining Room in Gardnerville now displays a Hendricks Cubs cap on its wall overlooking the bar.

Later, Hendricks emerged as a star for Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo, Calif., and was selected by the Angels in the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft. He decided to attend Dartmouth College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and helped the Big Green win two Ivy League championships.

Hendricks was selected by the Texas Rangers in the eighth round of the 2011 MLB Draft. He was traded to the Cubs in 2012 and made his Major League debut in 2014.

This season, Hendricks went 16-8 with a 2.13 ERA. He threw 7.1 scoreless innings to beat the Dodgers 5-0 in Game 6 of the NLCS as the Cubs advanced to the World Series for the first time since 1945.