Henderson’s passing reminds us of baseball’s mortality

Dave Henderson is all smiles while signing for A's fans in 2000.

Dave Henderson is all smiles while signing for A’s fans in 2000.

I got a chance to connect with some of the guys I grew up with Sunday.

At the other end of the phone were Dave Stewart, Dennis Eckersley, Rickey Henderson, Mark McGwire, Sandy Alderson, Terry Steinbach and Tony La Russa.

This isn’t a case of dropping names here. These are some of the guys I talked to after the news came out that Dave Henderson, center fielder par excellence for the A’s from 1988-93 had died in Seattle at 57 of a massive heart attack.

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Bob Welch leaves eddies of emotion in old teammates

When I returned to the A’s beat in the spring of 2013, I hadn’t seen Bob Welch in about five years, maybe more.

I’d hit the road for a dozen-plus years in Seattle and he’d spent time away from the A’s working for the Arizona Diamondbacks but ultimately had been lured back to the Oakland organization by longtime buddy Curt Young.

We’d almost always gotten along well enough, although there are going to be rocky patches between reporters and players, and that’s never going to change.

We started talking, rehashing old times and I was completely unprepared for what happened next. Welch called longtime A’s photographer Michael Zagaris over from the far side of the clubhouse, put his arm around my shoulder and told Zagaris, `I want a picture with this guy.’ ’’

That’s sort of the way it was with Bobby Welch. He liked people. He loved baseball. And anything that brought the two of them together was all right by him.

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Eckersley enthralled by way A’s handled Darvish Monday

Dennis Eckersley likes the A's offensive approach

Dennis Eckersley likes the A’s offensive approach

As is often the case, when the Red Sox and the A’s meet, Dennis Eckersley is likely to show up.And such was the case Friday night when the longtime Boston starter and Oakland reliever (and Hall of Famer) dropped by Fenway Park to take in the game.

And while Eckersley can wax eloquently about any number of topics, what he wanted to talk about was the Oakland offense.

Now a regular broadcaster with Boston’s NESN and TBS, he had the night off. But he can’t help analyzing. And he was enthralled with the way the A’s took apart Yu Darvish on Monday in Texas.

“Everybody in the lineup was 3-2, everybody,’’ he said. “How do you do that?’’

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