CHICAGO – He’s only two months into his tenure with the White Sox, but he’s already gotten a few things to display in his locker.
The first, and most important, for Liam Hendriks is another plaque for his American League Reliever of the Month award which he got for his performance in May. This came after he converted all eight save attempts while also not allowing an earned run while striking out 19 batters compared to two walks.
But something else that will be appearing in his locker at Guaranteed Rate Field and his place of residence are some creations from a very popular form of art that has occupied his time during the 2021 season.
“I’ve been doing LEGOS a lot and then Gio’s (Lucas Giolito) joined in a little bit with that,” said Hendriks on Thursday. “I have to show off my collection. I’ve built the Friend’s set, I’ve got an R2-D2 that I’m about to build. I finished Baby Yoda. I finished a bust of Darth Vader. I’ve done some stuff like that. He’s been doing his own about these 3-D puzzles I was able to find at one of the bookstores on the road.
“We keep each other entertained, that’s for sure.”
It’s not quite something new for Hendriks, who said he began projects like this back in 2019, starting with Nanoblocks. This year he’s switched to LEGOS, and it was his friend Joey that helped to kick it off.
“He actually bought a cityscape of Chicago, which I did initially,” said Hendriks. “Then that turned into the Friend’s set, now today I’m actually starting the Friend’s apartment. The first one was ‘Central Perk’ and now were going Monica and Rachel and then Joey and Chandler’s their housing/apartment setups, with a little cheesecake in the middle. Anyone who knows the set or knows the story, they’ll understand that.
“Mixing between that and some Star Wars stuff, but I try to get through one set per homestand and now it’s just a matter of trying to put it on display somewhere in my locker so I can at least have some people gawking at it a little bit.”
This creative outlet comes as Hendriks is living up to his billing as an elite MLB closer in 2021 as he’s converted 14 of 16 save attempts with a 1.96 ERA in 24 appearances. But his hobby has been on the top of mind of his teammates, who’ve watched him continue to expand his LEGO creation in his first season.
“Tim Anderson has been calling me “LEGO Liam” for a little bit,” said Hendriks. “I think everybody’s relieved at the fact that I put headphones on and do my LEGOS so they don’t have to hear me talk anymore. So it’s a bit of a break for everybody, not just for me.
“So I’ll do my LEGOS, I’ll finish a set before the homestand, then I’ll read for the rest of the homestand for the last few days or whatever it is. I need that time away from the game when I’m at the field just to kinda lock me back in and this is an outlet that I can do.”
It’s certainly worked so far, so expect him to keep building more as the White Sox 2021 season continues.