Monday, December 01, 2008

Rickey Henderson

Some Hall of Fame decisions are easy. Rickey Henderson is on the ballot this year.

If he is not voted in on the first ballot, the Hall should disband immediately. Normally one might argue about, say, the best centerfielder or first baseman in history. But one could also consider position in the lineup, instead of position in the field. Does anyone doubt that Rickey Henderson is the best leadoff hitter in history?

It's unfair to focus on just one year, but in 1990 his OPS was 1.016, he stole 65 bases and was caught just ten times. He was an outrageously good base-stealer: in 1998, when he was 39 years old, he had 66 steals and was caught 13 times.

In fact, given his quotability, I'm already giddy at the thought of his acceptance speech....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A reporter asked Henderson if Ken Caminiti's estimate that 50 percent of Major League players were taking steroids was accurate. His response was, "Well, Rickey's not one of them, so that's 49 percent right there."

Rickey was pulled over by a San Diego police officer for speeding. As the officer was approaching Rickey's car, the window went down a few inches and a folded $100 bill emerged. The officer let Rickey and his money head home without a ticket.

n the early 1980s, the Oakland A's accounting department was
freaking out. The books were off $1 million. After an investigation, it was determined Rickey was the reason why. The GM asked him about a $1 million bonus he had received and Rickey said instead of cashing it, he framed it and hung it on a wall at his house.