Sunday, July 19, 2009

Rickey Henderson: Leadoff Legend

So I didn't want to post on this, because I just wanted to fully take in the experience. But I'm too excited. This special on MLB Network made me so excited that I couldn't wait. Its all about Rickey Henderson. If I can get 2 to 3 anecdotes on how great Rickey is, it is completely worth it.

So I'm kicking this post off approximately 10 minutes into the special. They just started talking about Rickey's great career.

The first moment that gave me goosebumps: Rickey Henderson talks about how he invented the art of the head first slide. I love it when players proclaim they invented a piece of baseball history. It makes me think of Hawk inventing batting gloves.

Seriously, if they don't mention the John Olerud story, my life will be incomplete.

They just skipped over Rickey's year of 130 SBs far too quickly, and are now talking about him on the Yankees. They best be moving this along to tell more fantastic stories about Rickey loving himself (Note: Zach will only be referencing the name Rickey 400 more times this post). Apparently, Billy Martin and Rickey Henderson are secret lovers because Rickey just followed him wherever he went. Seriously, Rickey is insane. 143 Games Played, 146 Runs Scored in '85.

Rickey's pimp strut on home runs is absolutely fantastic. It may be the coolest in baseball history. Rickey is the Best! Rickey is the Best!

While coaching the great one, Sweet Lou did not believe Rickey was hurt.Rickey actually had torn his hamstring. Which prompted this response by Rickey, "It really hurted me so bad." Also, Rickey Henderson hates Lou Piniella. After Rickey found out his hammy was torn, aparently Rickey went into Lou's office and murdered some strippers with the bottle of wine he used to flog Sweet Lou minutes prior. I guess that will count as one adequate anecdote. (Witty alliteration, Check!)

"What, we's going back home? Hell yea, baby, make the deal!" Rickey's response when hearing about possibly getting traded back to Oakland. Rickey=Hoodtastic.

1990 On Base Percentage: .438. Eww. Rickey is the Best! Rickey is the Best!

Rickey just beat Lou Brock's record. Proclaiming "There is no way that the whole crowd was going to stop me. If they got in front of me I was going to run them over"

This then let Rickey say this, "Lou Brock was the seminal great base stealer, but today, I am the Greatest of All Time!" My favorite actual Rickey quote. Rickey's the Best! Rickey's the Best!

So far, this special has been slightly upsetting. However, things that are not a let down: Rickey's Wikipedia page (linked to earlier). Just for the anecdotes section alone, it is worth reading.

Game 6 of the World Series, Rickey was found playing cards in the locker room with teammates on the DL. During the game. Good story number 2.

Rickey was the the career leader for Runs (broke Cobb's record) and Walks (broke Ruth's record).

Rickey refused to play in the last game in the season because he did not want to get his 3,000th hit on Tony Gwynn's last game. He ended up playing and getting it because he was a badass. Proclaiming, "The love of the Game is what Rickey Henderson is all about. I believe I can play for the rest of my life."

"I has the greatest time of Rickey's career in the independant ball." Yes, this is yet another Rickey quote. And, yes, I am just going to be providing Rickey quotes. I don't care. They are good enough to carry the post in themselves.

Toj asks, "What the hell is he wearing under his jersey?" The answer: some sort of buddhist robe. Purple in color. Many floral designs. Huge gold chain.

Rickey's the Best! Rickey's the Best!

Some of Rickey's Career Numbers: .389 OBP, .831 OPS, 3,055 Hits, 297 HR, 2,295 Runs, One great quote, "I am the greatest of all time!"

Rickey's the Best! Rickey's the best!


  1. I never knew Rickey was such a personality. All those anecdotes are priceless. He will surely be missed.

  2. "He surely will be missed."

    You make it sound like he is dead.

  3. Rickey will surely miss himself