Ohio kid spices up friendship with Gunnar Henderson

Published 10:17 am Monday, May 20, 2024

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Hancock’s Country Bar-B-Que restaurant made headlines with a family in Cincinnati.

Drew Watkins and his father Ron Watkins are big Cincinnati Reds fans, but Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson is Drew’s favorite MLB player. After learning Henderson’s favorite restaurant is Hancock Country Bar-B-Que, he sought Henderson’s attention with barbecue at Hancock’s. The family ordered barbecue sauce from Hancock’s to get Gunnar to come meet him. Emily Hancock took the order.

“It all started with a phone call, a guy wanting us to ship sauce to Ohio,” Hancock said. “ We ship all over, so nothing too uncommon until Ron Watkins, his dad, started telling me about Drew. Drew is a huge baseball fan and loves the Cincinnati Reds but has been following Gunnar with the Baltimore Orioles. Drew had done a lot of research and found an article on him talking about Hancock’s Bar-B-Que. Drew decided he wanted to get sauce in a chance of coaxing him to come meet him and get an autograph.”

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Hancock said she sent the sauce to Ohio with hopes of making it by Friday. Drew tasted the sauce and loved it.

Henderson agreed to meet Drew at the stadium where the Orioles played, receiving the barbecue sauce. Drew took it to the game and waved it around during warm ups. Henderson spotted him and ran straight over. They had a good interaction. Henderson signed Drew’s baseball and baseball card. 

“It’s our pleasure to be involved,” Hancock said. “Drew said his favorite American League team is now Baltimore and will continue to root for them unless they are playing the Reds. They are traveling to see them again in Baltimore in September. Nothing like a taste from home to get a player to come by and hello. Huge props to Drew and his dad, Ron, for getting our sauce shipped to Ohio before the big game.”