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Rickey Henderson - Broke Records In Steals, Runs, And Walks

babe ruth accomplishments oak team time san

After a brief slump in 1989, Henderson was traded back to the Oakland A's in June, signing a four-year, $12 million contract, one of the most lucrative deals in baseball. The move seemed to rejuvenate Henderson, who batted .325 and scored 119 runs and twenty-eight homers in 1990. For these achievements he earned his first and only Most Valuable Player award. The following year, he broke Brock's career stolen-base record, logging his 939th steal on May 1. In a ceremony to honor his achievement, he told the crowd, "Today I am the greatest of all time" (BaseballLibrary.com). Statements such as these earned Henderson his reputation as a braggart; many fans were put off by his tendency to sing his own praises. "Those words [about being the greatest] haunt me to this day," he told Dennis Manoloff of the Plain Dealer. "They overshadow what I've accomplished in this game."

Chronology

1958 Born on December 25 in Chicago, Illinois
1976 Graduates from California's Oakland Technical High School
1976 Selected by Oakland A's in fourth round of draft
1979 Makes major-league debut
1982 Logs record-setting 130 stolen bases; logs most career home runs leading off a game (75)
1984 Traded to New York Yankees
1989 Plays for Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland A's, San Diego Padres
1998 Becomes free agent; signs with New York Mets
2000 Signs with Seattle Mariners
2000 Breaks Lou Brock's record for stolen bases
2001 Signs with San Diego Padres
2001 Becomes all-time leader in walks and runs
2002 Signs with Boston Red Sox

In the 1990s Henderson was traded several times, playing for the Toronto Blue Jays, San Diego Padres, and Anaheim Angels. In 1998 he joined the New York Mets as a free agent. The aging player continued to prove himself valuable, batting a .315 average. Yet his personality clashed with the team's management. Henderson's reputation soured after the 1999 National League Championship Series, when it was rumored that he and teammate Bobby Bonilla were playing cards in the club-house while their team suffered a crushing loss to the Atlanta Braves. Henderson denied the rumor, but some say it led to his release from the team in May 2000.

Henderson joined his seventh team, the Seattle Mariners, in 2000. By the following season he was without a contract, however, as the Mariners chose not to resign the 42-year-old player. After a brief period without a team, Henderson signed with the San Diego Padres. His batting average had dipped to .227, but he continued scoring runs, becoming baseball's all-time leader in that category in 2001. The same year, he surpassed Babe Ruth in career walks with 2,063. In his final swing of the season, he logged the 3,000th hit of his career. Signing with the Boston Red Sox, his ninth team, in 2002, Henderson proved his staying power by demonstrating one of the highest on-base percentages on the team.

The key to Henderson's longevity as a player? "[P]ushups, sit-ups, push-ups, sit-ups—and a lot of running," he told Manoloff of the Plain Dealer. "I'm not going to give [baseball] up if I can still perform, compete and enjoy the game." When he does retire, Henderson will be remembered for his base-stealing and lead-off hitting prowess, and for his many other record-breaking moments.

Career Statistics

Yr Team AVG GP AB R H HR RBI BB SO SB
ANA: Anaheim Angels; BOS: Boston Red Sox; NY: New York Mets; OAK: Oakland A's; SD: San Diego Padres; SEA: Seattle Mariners; TOR: Toronto Blue Jays.
1979 OAK .274 89 351 49 96 1 26 34 39 33
1980 OAK .303 158 591 111 179 9 53 117 54 100
1981 OAK .319 108 423 89 135 6 35 64 68 56
1982 OAK .267 149 536 119 143 10 51 116 94 130
1983 OAK .292 145 513 105 150 9 48 103 80 108
1984 OAK .293 142 502 113 147 16 58 86 81 66
1985 NY .314 143 547 146 172 24 72 99 65 80
1986 NY .263 153 608 130 160 28 74 89 81 87
1987 NY .291 95 358 79 104 17 37 80 52 41
1988 NY .305 140 554 118 169 6 50 82 54 93
1989 NY .247 65 235 41 58 3 22 56 29 25
1989 OAK .294 85 306 72 90 9 35 70 39 52
1990 OAK .325 136 489 119 159 28 61 97 60 65
1991 OAK .268 134 470 105 126 18 57 98 73 58
1992 OAK .283 117 396 77 112 15 46 95 56 48
1993 OAK .327 90 318 77 104 17 47 85 46 31
1993 TOR .215 44 163 37 35 4 12 35 19 22
1994 OAK .260 87 296 66 77 6 20 72 45 22
1995 OAK .300 112 407 67 122 9 54 72 66 32
1996 SD .241 148 465 110 112 9 29 125 90 37
1997 ANA .183 32 115 21 21 2 7 26 23 16
1997 SD .274 88 288 63 79 6 27 71 62 29
1998 OAK .236 152 542 101 128 14 57 118 114 66
1999 NYM .315 121 438 89 138 12 42 82 82 37
2000 NYM .219 31 96 17 21 0 2 25 20 5
2000 SEA .238 92 324 58 77 4 30 63 55 31
2001 SD .227 123 379 70 86 8 42 81 84 25
2002 BOS .223 72 179 40 40 5 16 38 47 8
TOTAL .279 3051 10889 2288 3040 295 1110 2179 1678 1403

Awards and Accomplishments

1980, 1982-89 All-Star
1981 Golden Glove Award
1982 Most home runs leading off a game; most steals in a season
1990 American League Most Valuable Player
1991 All-time stolen-base champion
2001 All-time leader in runs
2001 All-time leader in walks
Rickey Henderson - Chronology [next] [back] Rickey Henderson - Known As Stolen Base King

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over 10 years ago

Reyes is gonna break his record for most steals in a seaons