Rickey Henderson’s ultimate Christmas gift – MLB Sports

No one has stolen the base anymore. There is no more score. No one has hit any more lead-off home runs-or celebrated them grandly.

He is the biggest lead-off man in MLB history. And the ultimate Christmas gift for baseball fans.

Rickey Henderson was born in Chicago on Christmas Day 1958, and the baseball world had no idea what serious gift was just given to it at that time. Let’s break down the many ways Ricky has brought us joy through his quarter-century Hall of Fame career.

Man stealing

The stolen base was Henderson’s calling card. His first match took place on June 24, 1979 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, within 10 miles of where A was drafted, at Oakland Technical High School, a doubleheader opener between A and the Rangers. It was.

Henderson’s last stole Dodgers second base 24 years later (suitable for a man who wore 24 for most of his career) on August 29, 2003 at Dodger Stadium for the third time in a match against the Rockies. It was time. And he swiped 1,404 bags in the meantime.

Henderson led the American League 12 times in steal, six years of which led the major. He stole more than 100 bases three times during the season. This includes a record 130 thefts in Auckland in 1982. In a third-base swipe against the Yankees at the Coliseum on May 1, 1991, Henderson surpassed the Hall of Fame Lou Brock in his record 939th career steal. Then he ran away with the title-Brock always stayed in second place, with 468 stealing behind the stealing king.

Henderson revolutionized the head-to-head slide and jumped hard into the bag he was heading to. There used to be head-to-head slides (I think it’s Pete Rose), but Henderson’s perfected fluidity and aggression added flares reminiscent of the end of a quick paintbrush stroke. He turned stealing into art.

The home run was great

Henderson hit 297 home runs during his career, including the 28th best career in the Yankees in 1986 and the AL MVP campaign in A in 1990. He set the lead-off hitter benchmark in every conceivable way, and it involves power- He hit a record 81 home runs to open the contest..

And when it came to admiring his Homer, Ricky was unmatched in his creativity.There were helmet taps, jersey collar pulls, wide-and we mean wide -Looking back at first base, a good old bat flip.

Like everything he did, Ricky brought something special to his Homer. And the combination of power and speed made him unique among the lead-off hitters of his time. At the time, there were ubiquitous contact / slap hitters who could beat field singles and make runs with wheels. Sure, Ricky can do that. But he could do everything else.

Walk for a walk

Henderson took more walks in his career than Babe Ruth. It’s no wonder he finished with an on-base percentage of .401. Until Barry Bonds broke it in 2006, Henderson held the highest ever career walk record at 2,190.Henderson is still Unintended Walk, at 2,129.

One wreck crew

Henderson’s legend is perhaps the most respected for the elements of pure dominance he brought to diamonds each time he stepped into them. You walk Rickey Henderson to open the game, the saying goes, and you’re already running away.

A typical demonstration of this is the 1989 A and Blue Jays AL Championship Series, after Henderson hit .400 in five games with double, triple, two homers, eight steals and eight runs, and then MVP. Was nominated for. He made 23 at-bats and reached the base 14 times (on-base percentage .609). Four of his thefts occurred only in Game 2. And he wasn’t thrown out once he tried to steal.


Henderson was also famous for referring to himself among third parties. MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds shared the story of “MLB Network Presents: Ricky’s School” and explained that he had a phone conversation with Ricky the day after he won the AL stolen base title in 1987 (Henderson said). The year was limited to 95 games due to injuries); it was the only year in the 1980s when he did not lead the league on stolen bases).

“I go and pick up the phone,” Reynolds recalled.[and he said] “Henderson here”, because he speaks to a third party regardless. … does he say 60 years stolen base? You should be ashamed-Ricky will have 60 in an all-star break. click. I hung up the phone. “

urban legend

There are many stories about Henderson, and they are legendary. Some are true and some are not. But they are all very interesting.

For example, consider the story of Ricky receiving a contract when it was drafted in 1976. One day, in December, A’s accounting department called me and asked why I hadn’t cashed my $ 1 million check yet.Henderson Confirm later His reaction was as follows: [the check] It was on my wall. As a kid, when he became a millionaire, Ricky decided to assemble a check. He is the man of his words.

Or what if Ricky, then Mariner, stood around the batting cage with his teammates, including John Olerud?

Orlud was remembered as a great batter, flirting with an average batting average of .400 in the depths of the 1993 season with the Blue Jays. Henderson was also a teammate of the club. Orlud is also remembered to have been wearing a helmet all the time while he was in the field with first baseman because he had a cerebral aneurysm in college.

According to Henderson folklore, Ricky asked Orlud one day about it, and then said he played with the New York man who once did it. “Yes, Ricky, that was me,” Orldo said as the story went on. (Orldo and Henderson were Mets teammates from 1999 to 2000)

But that wasn’t true, Henderson later said.Orlud himself I confirmed the fiction..

One and only

There is never another Rickey Henderson. It’s always fun to look back on his illustrious career. Because he’s doing what no one has done before, and what he hasn’t done since then, it gives him the opportunity to be in awe again. It’s good to remember his birthday easily, as there’s never been a bad time to see Ricky’s highlights.

After all, he’s one of the best Christmas gifts baseball has ever received.

Manny Randawa A Denver-based reporter. Follow him on Twitter. @MannyOnMLB.

– MLB Sports

Rickey Henderson’s ultimate Christmas gift Rickey Henderson’s ultimate Christmas gift

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