Monday, July 27, 2009
Puke and rally!! My apologies to Patrick Lyons for not posting as much as he would like, but on Friday I was driving down to New Jersey and it would have been unsafe for me to type my post on my phone while driving. Despite today's picture, my article will be discussing the career of most recent Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson. To sum it up in as few words as possible; that dude was crazy.
There will always be two things that I remember about Rickey Henderson: he was born on Christmas, and he threw lefted but batted righty (just like Will Hayes in his prime). However, there was so much more to Rickey Henderson. Lets start with his amazing career.
Rickey Henderson was the best leadoff hitter of all time. He had a small strike zone that led him to walk more than any other player in baseball. He had some pop, hitting 297 career long dongs, 81 of which led off the game. And obviously, once he got on base it was over. Rickey had over 1,400 career stolen bases (including a record 130 in one season) and scored 2,295 runs, both major league records. It seems with this talent, Rickey would have been irreplacable to teams. Surprisingly though, Rickey moved around a lot in his career. My guess, because he is crazy.
Imagine being on a team with a player who took swings in front of the mirror naked yelling "Rickey's the best!". Talking about himself this way was not uncommon though, as Rickey often referred to himself in the third person. He once called up the previous year's stolen base champ Harold Reynolds and said "60 stolen bases? Rickey will have that by the all-star break!".
If that wasn't enough, he also talked to himself and his bat while he was at the plate. He also is reported to have invented the exploding fist pound, created "Rickey Time", often caught the ball with a swiping motion, and forgot that John Olerud was his teammate (he told Olerud that he used to have a teammate that wore a batting helmet in the field in New York. It was in fact Olerud). It was because of this craziness that Rickey bounced from team to team.
Rickey played for 9 teams in his career, including 4 stints with Oakland and two with San Diego. He won two World Series, was a 10 time All Star, 12 time League stolen base champ and MVP in 1990. Despite all of these accolades, I think Rickey will mostly be remembered for his insane personality. If my post wasn't enough for you, take a look at these gems.