On rookie hazing
I have duties here and there. I load drinks onto the bus. Jered Weaver carries the poker chips on the flights. I've run back to the locker room to grab things for guys, like sunglasses. [For more on the rookie life, see page 41.] Before today the last time I was hit with shaving cream was in Little League, after winning a title. It's probably coming up here, but it'll be unexpected.
On getting nicknamed Howiewood
At Fenway Park, I leaned into the stands to catch a pop-up. I felt my arm hit somebody's arm, but I ran to the dugout, not paying atten- tion. The crowd was booing really loud. Our pitching coach, Buddy Black, goes, "That's Ben Affleck you stole that ball from." I looked over, and sure enough it was Ben, next to Jennifer Garner. The next inning I caught the last out, and I was going to toss him a ball, but he wasn't looking. Jennifer was, so I got her attention. I tossed the ball: It's up in the air, she's looking at him, and he's looking down. It landed in his lap. He [starts] looking at me, and I'm making signals saying, My bad! Access Hollywood did an interview with me--they had me sign a ball they're going to give to him. Scot Shields started calling me Howiewood.
On how he became Howie
Most people, my family and everyone, call me Howard. My second year in [Rookie League] Provo, I had a [baseball] card made. They asked, Do you prefer Howard or Howie? And I said, It doesn't matter. They put Howie, so that's what everybody calls me now. I like my name.
On adapting to the major leagues
On the road you have to have leather shoes and a collared shirt. I didn't have many collared shirts, so I went to Nordstrom and got some Lacoste polo shirts, and some button-downs from Express. A little girl about 11 comes up and is like, Are you Howie Kendrick? I was like, Wow, I didn't think anyone would recognize me. She asked me, and then she took off running, really excited.
On ALCS MVP Paul Konerko
In spring training I went to hit in the cage after a workout. [The White Sox] had come up from Tucson, and [Konerko's] in the cage doing some work. I walk in, and he's like, Hey, do you want me to get out of here? I was like, Noooooo, don't get out, you're all right. I went to the other side of the cage to hit. When we played the White Sox the other day, I told him, "That was me in the cage. I didn't want you to get out because I respect you guys." He goes, "It's not 'you guys' any more. It's 'us.'" That was pretty cool.
KENDRICK, 23, HAS HIT .376 SINCE BEING RECALLED ON JULY 16
Photographs by Michael J. Lebrecht II/1Deuce3 Photography