Biographical

Portrait of Rickey Henderson

Rickey Henderson LFAthletics

Athletics Player Cards | Athletics Team Audit | Athletics Depth Chart

Career Summary
Years PA AVG OBP SLG DRC+ WARP
26 13346 .279 .401 .419 125 106.1
Birth Date12-25-1958
Height5' 10"
Weight180 lbs
Age59 years, 11 months, 21 days
BatsR
ThrowsL
WARP Summary

MLB Statistics

YEAR TEAM AGE G PA H 2B 3B HR BB SO HBP SB CS AVG OBP SLG DRC+ DRAA BRR FRAA BWARP
1979 OAK 20 89 398 96 13 3 1 34 39 2 33 11 .274 .338 .336 79 -8.7 0.1 -5.3 -0.4
1980 OAK 21 158 722 179 22 4 9 117 54 5 100 26 .303 .420 .399 127 24.1 13.5 17.4 7.4
1981 OAK 22 108 493 135 18 7 6 64 68 2 56 22 .319 .408 .437 125 14.0 7.0 23.3 6.0
1982 OAK 23 149 656 143 24 4 10 116 94 2 130 42 .267 .398 .382 120 17.2 16.3 7.5 5.8
1983 OAK 24 145 622 150 25 7 9 103 80 4 108 19 .292 .414 .421 124 19.2 13.2 11.4 6.0
1984 OAK 25 142 597 147 27 4 16 86 81 5 66 18 .293 .399 .458 129 21.6 10.7 10.6 5.9
1985 NYA 26 143 654 172 28 5 24 99 65 3 80 10 .314 .419 .516 150 40.4 13.6 14.9 9.3
1986 NYA 27 153 701 160 31 5 28 89 81 2 87 18 .263 .358 .469 133 28.9 10.3 16.2 7.9
1987 NYA 28 95 440 104 17 3 17 80 52 2 41 8 .291 .423 .497 142 24.9 4.1 6.3 4.5
1988 NYA 29 140 647 169 30 2 6 82 54 3 93 13 .305 .394 .399 123 18.8 12.7 7.5 5.7
1989 NYA 30 65 293 58 13 1 3 56 29 1 25 8 .247 .392 .349 140 13.7 -0.2 4.9 2.7
1989 OAK 30 85 381 90 13 2 9 70 39 2 52 6 .294 .425 .438 136 16.4 9.6 1.4 3.8
1990 OAK 31 136 594 159 33 3 28 97 60 4 65 10 .325 .439 .577 166 46.6 8.9 7.1 7.9
1991 OAK 32 134 578 126 17 1 18 98 73 7 58 18 .268 .400 .423 138 27.3 7.9 0.1 5.0
1992 OAK 33 117 500 112 18 3 15 95 56 6 48 11 .283 .426 .457 150 29.1 5.7 1.1 5.0
1993 OAK 34 90 407 104 19 1 17 85 46 2 31 6 .327 .469 .553 147 24.8 5.2 2.0 4.1
1993 TOR 34 44 203 35 3 1 4 35 19 2 22 2 .215 .356 .319 149 12.8 3.2 -6.8 1.4
1994 OAK 35 87 376 77 13 0 6 72 45 5 22 7 .260 .411 .365 118 9.8 6.3 10.9 3.4
1995 OAK 36 112 487 122 31 1 9 72 66 4 32 10 .300 .407 .447 114 10.1 0.5 -5.4 1.5
1996 SDN 37 148 602 112 17 2 9 125 90 10 37 15 .241 .410 .344 115 13.8 -0.4 3.8 3.0
1997 ANA 38 32 144 21 3 0 2 26 23 2 16 4 .183 .343 .261 109 2.2 2.3 -1.2 0.5
1997 SDN 38 88 365 79 11 0 6 71 62 4 29 4 .274 .422 .375 116 8.8 3.8 5.0 2.5
1998 OAK 39 152 670 128 16 1 14 118 114 5 66 13 .236 .376 .347 109 10.0 4.5 10.0 3.8
1999 NYN 40 121 526 138 30 0 12 82 82 2 37 14 .315 .423 .466 116 13.8 6.6 -12.0 1.8
2000 NYN 41 31 124 21 1 0 0 25 20 2 5 2 .219 .387 .229 95 -0.3 1.2 -3.7 0.0
2000 SEA 41 92 395 77 13 2 4 63 55 2 31 9 .238 .362 .327 90 -3.4 1.5 2.4 0.9
2001 SDN 42 123 465 86 17 3 8 81 84 3 25 7 .227 .366 .351 102 3.0 1.8 -10.7 0.5
2002 BOS 43 72 222 40 6 1 5 38 47 4 8 2 .223 .369 .352 98 0.3 -0.1 -2.3 0.3
2003 LAN 44 30 84 15 1 0 2 11 16 1 3 0 .208 .321 .306 85 -1.2 0.1 -0.6 0.0
Career30811334630555106629721901694981406335.279.401.419125438.3170.0115.8106.1

Statistics for All Levels

'opp' stats - Quality of opponents faced - have been moved and are available only as OPP_QUAL in the Statistics reports now.
Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
YEAR Team Lg G PA oppAVG oppOBP oppSLG BABIP BPF BRAA repLVL POS_ADJ DRC+ DRC+ SD FRAA BRR DRAA BWARP
1978 JER AA 133 561 .000 .000 .000 .349 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1979 OAK MLB 89 398 .265 .324 .401 .303 93 -2.3 11.1 -1.4 79 13 -5.3 0.1 -8.7 -0.4
1979 OGD AAA 71 328 .000 .000 .000 .339 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1980 OAK MLB 158 722 .270 .329 .400 .320 95 44.4 19.4 -4.7 127 15 17.4 13.5 24.1 7.4
1981 OAK MLB 108 493 .258 .317 .375 .365 93 28.8 12.5 -3 125 17 23.3 7.0 14.0 6.0
1982 OAK MLB 149 656 .264 .323 .401 .306 96 31.7 17.7 -3.9 120 17 7.5 16.3 17.2 5.8
1983 OAK MLB 145 622 .265 .323 .400 .332 95 30.5 16.9 -3.8 124 16 11.4 13.2 19.2 6.0
1984 OAK MLB 142 597 .262 .321 .398 .321 95 32.6 16.0 -3.7 129 13 10.6 10.7 21.6 5.9
1985 NYA MLB 143 654 .264 .326 .412 .320 97 48.3 17.8 1.4 150 9 14.9 13.6 40.4 9.3
1985 FTL A+ 3 11 .000 .000 .000 .250 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1986 NYA MLB 153 701 .263 .330 .412 .263 102 22.5 19.4 0.9 133 13 16.2 10.3 28.9 7.9
1987 NYA MLB 95 440 .265 .333 .429 .301 99 28.5 13.0 -2.8 142 13 6.3 4.1 24.9 4.5
1988 NYA MLB 140 647 .258 .319 .386 .326 100 31.1 16.9 -4.1 123 15 7.5 12.7 18.8 5.7
1989 NYA MLB 65 293 .258 .320 .380 .270 102 8.6 7.6 -1.8 140 17 4.9 -0.2 13.7 2.7
1989 OAK MLB 85 381 .257 .322 .380 .310 95 28.8 9.9 -2.5 136 17 1.4 9.6 16.4 3.8
1990 OAK MLB 136 594 .261 .326 .389 .325 95 63 15.9 -4.5 166 18 7.1 8.9 46.6 7.9
1991 OAK MLB 134 578 .262 .326 .394 .283 97 32.7 15.6 -4.1 138 17 0.1 7.9 27.3 5.0
1992 OAK MLB 117 500 .261 .328 .389 .296 97 36.3 12.9 -3.3 150 13 1.1 5.7 29.1 5.0
1993 OAK MLB 90 407 .267 .334 .406 .339 96 43.4 11.7 -3.5 147 14 2.0 5.2 24.8 4.1
1993 TOR MLB 44 203 .265 .333 .406 .218 103 -1.1 5.8 -1.4 149 13 -6.8 3.2 12.8 1.4
1994 OAK MLB 87 376 .272 .343 .435 .287 96 15.4 11.4 -3.1 118 15 10.9 6.3 9.8 3.4
1995 OAK MLB 112 487 .268 .340 .426 .337 97 24.8 14.6 -4.4 114 16 -5.4 0.5 10.1 1.5
1996 SDN MLB 148 602 .267 .331 .416 .280 98 15.2 18.6 -4.2 115 10 3.8 -0.4 13.8 3.0
1997 ANA MLB 32 144 .264 .330 .420 .211 94 -3.8 4.0 -2 109 14 -1.2 2.3 2.2 0.5
1997 SDN MLB 88 365 .264 .334 .413 .329 99 9.8 9.7 -2.1 116 14 5.0 3.8 8.8 2.5
1998 OAK MLB 152 670 .269 .335 .426 .273 95 8.5 18.2 -4 109 12 10.0 4.5 10.0 3.8
1999 NYN MLB 121 526 .268 .336 .424 .363 96 26.7 14.3 -3.9 116 15 -12.0 6.6 13.8 1.8
2000 NYN MLB 31 124 .266 .340 .433 .273 109 -3.8 3.9 -0.9 95 16 -3.7 1.2 -0.3 0.0
2000 SEA MLB 92 395 .275 .345 .441 .272 84 1 12.4 -3 90 15 2.4 1.5 -3.4 0.9
2001 SDN MLB 123 465 .260 .323 .423 .270 101 -1.5 13.8 -3.2 102 16 -10.7 1.8 3.0 0.5
2001 POR AAA 9 42 .000 .000 .000 .344 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2002 BOS MLB 72 222 .266 .334 .414 .273 98 1.6 6.4 -1.4 98 26 -2.3 -0.1 0.3 0.3
2003 LAN MLB 30 84 .270 .334 .429 .241 86 -1.3 2.2 -0.5 85 14 -0.6 0.1 -1.2 0.0

Statistics For All Levels

Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
Year Team Lg PA AB R H 2B 3B HR TB RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG ISO SF SH
1978 JER AA 561 455 81 141 14 4 0 163 34 83 67 81 28 .310 .408 .358 .048 16 16
1979 OAK MLB 398 351 49 96 13 3 1 118 26 34 39 33 11 .274 .338 .336 .063 3 8
1979 OGD AAA 328 259 66 80 11 8 3 116 26 53 41 44 9 .309 .416 .448 .139 12 12
1980 OAK MLB 722 591 111 179 22 4 9 236 53 117 54 100 26 .303 .420 .399 .096 3 6
1981 OAK MLB 493 423 89 135 18 7 6 185 35 64 68 56 22 .319 .408 .437 .118 4 0
1982 OAK MLB 656 536 119 143 24 4 10 205 51 116 94 130 42 .267 .398 .382 .116 2 0
1983 OAK MLB 622 513 105 150 25 7 9 216 48 103 80 108 19 .292 .414 .421 .129 1 1
1984 OAK MLB 597 502 113 147 27 4 16 230 58 86 81 66 18 .293 .399 .458 .165 3 1
1985 FTL A+ 11 6 5 1 0 1 0 3 3 5 2 1 1 .167 .545 .500 .333 0 0
1985 NYA MLB 654 547 146 172 28 5 24 282 72 99 65 80 10 .314 .419 .516 .201 5 0
1986 NYA MLB 701 608 130 160 31 5 28 285 74 89 81 87 18 .263 .358 .469 .206 2 0
1987 NYA MLB 440 358 78 104 17 3 17 178 37 80 52 41 8 .291 .423 .497 .207 0 0
1988 NYA MLB 647 554 118 169 30 2 6 221 50 82 54 93 13 .305 .394 .399 .094 6 2
1989 OAK MLB 381 306 72 90 13 2 9 134 35 70 39 52 6 .294 .425 .438 .144 3 0
1989 NYA MLB 293 235 41 58 13 1 3 82 22 56 29 25 8 .247 .392 .349 .102 1 0
1990 OAK MLB 594 489 119 159 33 3 28 282 61 97 60 65 10 .325 .439 .577 .252 2 2
1991 OAK MLB 578 470 105 126 17 1 18 199 57 98 73 58 18 .268 .400 .423 .155 3 0
1992 OAK MLB 500 396 77 112 18 3 15 181 46 95 56 48 11 .283 .426 .457 .174 3 0
1993 OAK MLB 407 318 77 104 19 1 17 176 47 85 46 31 6 .327 .469 .553 .226 2 0
1993 TOR MLB 203 163 37 35 3 1 4 52 12 35 19 22 2 .215 .356 .319 .104 2 1
1994 OAK MLB 376 296 66 77 13 0 6 108 20 72 45 22 7 .260 .411 .365 .105 2 1
1995 OAK MLB 487 407 67 122 31 1 9 182 54 72 66 32 10 .300 .407 .447 .147 3 1
1996 SDN MLB 602 465 110 112 17 2 9 160 29 125 90 37 15 .241 .410 .344 .103 2 0
1997 SDN MLB 365 288 63 79 11 0 6 108 27 71 62 29 4 .274 .422 .375 .101 2 0
1997 ANA MLB 144 115 21 21 3 0 2 30 7 26 23 16 4 .183 .343 .261 .078 0 1
1998 OAK MLB 670 542 101 128 16 1 14 188 57 118 114 66 13 .236 .376 .347 .111 3 2
1999 NYN MLB 526 438 89 138 30 0 12 204 42 82 82 37 14 .315 .423 .466 .151 3 1
2000 SEA MLB 395 324 58 77 13 2 4 106 30 63 55 31 9 .238 .362 .327 .090 3 3
2000 NYN MLB 124 96 17 21 1 0 0 22 2 25 20 5 2 .219 .387 .229 .010 1 0
2001 POR AAA 42 40 5 11 3 0 0 14 2 1 9 1 0 .275 .286 .350 .075 1 1
2001 SDN MLB 465 379 70 86 17 3 8 133 42 81 84 25 7 .227 .366 .351 .124 2 0
2002 BOS MLB 222 179 40 40 6 1 5 63 16 38 47 8 2 .223 .369 .352 .128 1 0
2003 LAN MLB 84 72 7 15 1 0 2 22 5 11 16 3 0 .208 .321 .306 .097 0 0

Plate Discipline

YEAR Pits Zone% Swing% Contact% Z-Swing% O-Swing% Z-Contact% O-Contact% SwStr% CSAA

Injury History  —  No longer being updated

Last Update: 12/31/2014 23:59 ET

Date On Date Off Transaction Days Games Side Body Part Injury Severity Surgery Date Reaggravation
1992-05-28 1992-06-17 15-DL 20 17 Left Thigh Strain Hamstring - -
1991-04-12 1991-04-27 15-DL 15 14 Right Lower Leg Strain Calf -

Compensation

Year Team Salary
2003 LAN $
2002 BOS $350,000
2001 SDN $300,000
2000 NYN $2,000,000
1999 NYN $1,800,000
1998 OAK $1,100,000
1997 SDN $2,000,000
1996 SDN $2,000,000
1995 OAK $3,800,000
1994 OAK $4,800,000
1993 OAK $3,250,000
1992 OAK $3,250,000
1991 OAK $3,250,000
1990 OAK $2,250,000
1989 NYA $2,120,000
1988 NYA $1,770,000
1987 NYA $1,670,000
1986 NYA $1,570,000
1985 NYA $1,470,000
1984 OAK $950,000
1983 OAK $800,000
1982 OAK $535,000
1981 OAK $185,000
1980 OAK $
1979 OAK $21,000
YearsDescriptionSalary
23 yrPrevious$41,241,000
23 yrTotal$41,241,000

 

Service TimeAgentContract Status
Dan Horwitz, Richie Bry

Details
  • 1 year (2003). Signed by LA Dodgers as a free agent from independent Newark 7/14/03.
  • 1 year (2002). Signed by Boston as a free agent 2/13/02 (minor-league contract). Salary of $0.35M in majors. Contract purchased by Boston 3/02. Club added $10,000/month suite at local Ritz Carlton.
  • 1 year (2001). Signed by San Diego as a free agent 3/19/01. Salary of $0.3M in majors.
  • 1 year/$2.3M (1999), plus 2000 option. Signed by NY Mets as a free agent 12/16/98. 99:$1.8M, 00:$2M vesting option ($0.5M buyout). Option guaranteed with 500 plate appearances in 1999 (met). May earn additional $0.5M annually in performance bonuses (earned $0.1M in 1999). Released by NY Mets 5/13/00. Signed by Seattle as a free agent 5/19/00.
  • 1 year/$1.1M (1998). Signed by Oakland as a free agent 1/22/98. Earned $50,000 performance bonus.
  • 2 years/$4M (1996-97). Signed by San Diego as a free agent 12/29/95. May earn $2.5M in performance bonuses. (Earned $1.25M in bonuses in 1996 and $1.045M in 1997). Acquired by Anaheim in trade from San Diego 8/13/87.
  • 2 years/$8.6M (1994-95). Signed by Oakland as a free agent 12/17/93. $0.5M signing bonus. 94:$4.55M, 95:$3.55M.
  • 4 years/$12M (1990-93). Re-signed by Oakland as a free agent 11/28/89. $1M signing bonus. 90:$2M, 91:$3M, 92:$3M, 93:$3M. Award bonuses: $0.1M for MVP. $50,000 each for LCS or WS MVP. No-trade protection. Henderson to make annual $50,000 charitable contribution. At signing, contract made Henderson the highest-paid player and guaranteed him more money than any other contract in baseball history. Acquired by Toronto in trade from Oakland 7/93.
  • 5 years/$8.6M (1985-89). Signed extension with NY Yankees 12/9/84. $0.85M signing bonus. 85:$1.3M, 86:$1.4M, 87:$1.5M, 88:$1.6M, 89:$1.95M. AAV of $1.72M makes Henderson fifth-highest paid player in baseball. Acquired by Oakland in trade from NY Yankees 6/89.
  • 1 year/$0.95M (1984). Lost arbitration with Oakland 2/84 ($1.2M-$0.95M). Acquired by NY Yankees in trade from Oakland 12/84.
  • 1 year/$0.8M (1983). Re-signed by Oakland.
  • 1 year/$0.535M (1982). Won arbitration with Oakland 2/82 ($0.535M-$0.35M). Third-highest salary ever awarded in arbitration (behind $0.7M for Bruce Sutter in 1980 and $0.6M for Steve Kemp in 1981).
  • 1 year/$0.185M (1981). Re-signed by Oakland.
  • 1 year (1980). Re-signed by Oakland.
  • 1 year/$21,000 (1979). Recalled by Oakland 6/79.
  • Drafted by Oakland 1976 (4-96) (Technical HS, Oakland, Calif.).

2018 Preseason Forecast

Last Update: 1/27/2017 12:35 ET

PCT PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG TAv VORP FRAA WARP
Weighted Mean???????????.000.000.000.0000.0?0.0

Comparable Players (Similarity Index )

Rank Score Name Year COMP_DRC_PLUS Trend

BP Annual Player Comments

YearComment
2004 One of the biggest complaints of fans in the post-free agent era is that with all the big money floating around, athletes don't play for the love of the game anymore. Rickey Henderson is proof that that's a lie. Despite being one of the greatest outfielders of the 20th century, Henderson spent half a season with the Newark Bears of the Independent League, riding on buses and playing for peanuts, all for the shot at being picked up by one of the big clubs. At 45(!), Henderson doesn't have a whole lot to give anymore, so it's possible that we've seen his last hurrah. If that's the case, let us just say that we'll miss you, Rickey-and we'll see you in Cooperstown in 2008.
2003 Even in the twilight of his career, Rickey Henderson remains a productive player. Despite the low batting average, his ability to draw walks and steal a base makes him an effective leadoff hitter. Unhappy with his playing time in Boston, he will not be returning.
2002 Henderson signed late in spring training after the team finally rid itself of Ruben Rivera. He played more than expected and reached several career milestones, to the delight of Padres fans. Henderson wants to keep playing; despite his on-base skills, he's not a great option for the Padres, who have extra outfielders hanging from the rafters. He'll have to go somewhere else to play.
2001 Having been released by the Mariners, Major League Baseball’s version of the Antique Road Show could be stopping in a town near you. Rickey Henderson has his sights set on breaking the career records for walks and runs scored as well as reaching 3,000 hits. Any team that signs him and plays him regularly probably has an anemic offense, so the impending 2002 work stoppage casts a long shadow over Henderson’s chances of scoring the 69 runs needed to overtake the Georgia Peach.
2000 A September fade that knocked 25 points off his EqA took some of the luster off of what was becoming a historic season for a 40-year-old. Still, the 10th-best EqR and fifth-best EqA ever for that age isn't too shabby. Don't expect him to hit .315 again, but he's still got the eye and the legs, and wants to set records for walks (41 to catch Ruth) and runs (62 behind Rose, 143 behind Cobb).
1998 For the third year in a row, Henderson got off to an poor start, batting just .158/.385/.246 and fighting a strained calf. He came off the disabled list on May 24th, and played like vintage Rickey until the trade on August 12th, at which time he was the third-best left fielder in the league. He was brutal as an Angel, but you can expect him to catch on somewhere and meet the above projection.
1997 The decision to acquire Vaughn and move Rickey out of left field and the leadoff spot showed complete and total ignorance of why the Padres were scoring any runs at all—guys at the top of the lineup on base, and why their offense wasn’t very good—a pitiful 5 through 8 while Gwynn and/or Joyner was hurt, 6 through 8 afterward. Bochy deserves a lot of credit for having the guts to start Henderson regularly, rotating out Vaughn, Finley and Gwynn as necessary. Henderson played in his most games since 1989, and even if his power really is gone he’s an asset to any team. I think the power will bounce back, and I expect him to be the second-best left fielder in the league in 1997.
1996  Rickey's at an interesting career point. He is no longer a devastating base stealer, but because of his other skills, is still a fantastic player. He is finally moving to a good hitter's park for him. If he stops stealing and focuses on the rest of his game, he can be the second-best left fielder in the league nehind Bonds. A .300/.420/.530 year is well within his grasp.

BP Articles

Click here to see articles tagged with Rickey Henderson

BP Chats

DateQuestionAnswer
2016-05-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)This year's Victor Robles?
(Greg from NYC)
I honestly don't think enough attention is being paid to this year's Yoan Moncada. He is slashing 318/450/500 with 30 steals in 41 games. That is Rickey Henderson stuff. (Jim Walsh)
2014-09-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)Who killed the 411?
(Big Erv from Club DTM)
It's not dead, it's just resting! Neither Siano nor I could give it the time and attention this year that we would've wanted, and we didn't want to mail it in, so we decided to leave it on the back-burner for now. But, think of the 411 like Rickey Henderson... not retired, just "not playing." Or maybe like Minnie Minoso, and we'll return for an at-bat or two at some point down the road. The podcast may be on hiatus, but the 411 philosophy lives on! (Cory Schwartz)
2014-01-29 19:00:00 (link to chat)If Pete Wheeler were a real person, how many full seasons would it take him to break Rickey Henderson's stolen base record?
(Joe Mielenhausen from New York)
Four, maybe? That kid had some serious whee ... he was fast. (Ben Carsley)
2012-04-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)As Omar Vizquel enters his 24th season, is he worthy of the HOF?
(ParklandTrojan from Pennsylvania)
Nope. He's such a below-average hitter (.244 True Average) that it eats into his overall value considerably, and despite the Gold Gloves we have him at just ~11 FRAA for his career. He's not Ozzie Smith, Part Deux by any stretch of the imagination any more than Juan Pierre is Rickey Henderson, Part Deux. (Jay Jaffe)
2012-04-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)Good chat. Over the last 15 - 20 years, who are some of your favorite players to go to the ballpark and see play and why?
(Jerome from T Hills)
Some of them are obvious - warts and all, I'm thrilled that I've gotten to see Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez as often as I have over the years - both have provided some incredible moments. Mariano Rivera, of course. I'm lucky to have seen Tim Raines and Rickey Henderson relatively late in their careers. Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez, Jay Buhner and Randy Johnson were pretty special because the Mariners were a favorite before I came to New York, and a common point of reference for me and my brother. Manny Ramirez, when he was still an Indian, was a lot of fun. Jim Thome was a beast who seemed to homer every time he came to town.

Going further back, I'm thrilled I got to see Fernando Valenzuela pitch in person, even if it was only spring training. Likewise for seeing Reggie Jackson in spring training - both were huge parts of my childhood and adolesence. My first regular season major league game was Roger Clemens vs. Nolan Ryan in 1989 (read about it in today's column). That was incredibly special in retrospect because Ryan always meant a great deal to me.

I'm sure I've forgotten somebody, but that's a good start. (Jay Jaffe)
2011-01-12 13:00:00 (link to chat)When I was a kid a had a "Nobody Beats the Wiz" poster with Willie Randolph, Dave Winfield, Rickey Henderson and Don Mattingly on it. I loved that poster. No question, just wanted to share.
(Charlie from Bethesda, MD)
Their commercials weren't quite as annoying at Crazy Eddie's were. (Steven Goldman)
2011-01-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)Jay - thanks again for the JAWS series this year. I'm submitting this question at 8:00am Eastern, so I don't yet know the results. My question is more of a suggestion - how similar is the relationship between Tim Raines and Rickey Henderson to that of Tris Speaker and Ty Cobb. In both cases, the paired players were contemporaries at the same position. In both cases, the former player was seen as awesome, but not the best in his role due to the continued presence of the latter. Hopefully, in both cases, the former player eventually gains enshrinement. What says you?
(R.A.Wagman from Toronto)
A question I'd have to research more fully to understand the attitudes toward Speaker and Cobb. Both of whom were apparently members of the KKK, to show you how standards of morality can shift over time. (Jay Jaffe)
2010-09-29 13:00:00 (link to chat)Will the 2011 Padres be questioning whether all that division-leading, playoff contender stuff from the previous season was all just a really cool dream?
(Peter from San Diego)
"Marc will write something about this when he's done being depressed."--Marc

Yes, in the grand tradition of Rickey Henderson and...Mark Kotsay? (http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/looking-at-2010-from-a-mark-kotsay-standpoint.php), that's a self-reference in the third person. (Ben Lindbergh)
2010-05-19 13:00:00 (link to chat)Could Reyes be someone who has been worn down by cumulative injuries to the point where he's lost pure athletic ability that he'll never get back?
(Robert from New York)
Possibly, but he was also at a ridiculous athletic level. His 80% is well over most people's 100%. It gets back to that BBTN chapter "What if Rickey Henderson had Pete Incaviglia's legs?" That he has a career at all is a testament to people like Vern Gambetta. Maybe he adjusts. I think I said that I wondered if Reyes would start hitting for more power to take some load off his legs and I still wonder about that. (Will Carroll)
2009-10-09 13:30:00 (link to chat)How in the world does a player ever end up batting right and throwing left (a la Rickey Henderson)? It seems like a waste of a potential platoon advantage.
(The Flying Bernard from Acton, MA)
I throw left and I hit right. I think it's just from being a kid and learning from watching and playing with friends. (Kevin Goldstein)
2009-08-19 14:00:00 (link to chat)How about Matt Weiters' chances? He's a lock already right?
(David from DC)
I guess you missed his induction back in July. His speech wasn't as good as Rickey Henderson's, but it still killed. (Jay Jaffe)
2009-06-08 14:00:00 (link to chat)I thought I remember someone leaving Rickey Henderson off his ballot because he would get voted in from the other voters without question. Thus, he voted for someone else that was more on the bubble. Is there a limit on how many you can vote for in one year?
(Adam from Chicago)
I got kicked off again. Weird.

You can vote for 10. There haven't been 10 viable Hall of Famers on a BBWAA ballot in...well, a long time. (Joe Sheehan)
2008-12-15 13:00:00 (link to chat)In honor of Jaffe's great article on Rickey Henderson's HOF candidacy, what's your favorite Rickey story?
(Phil from NJ)
My one meeting with Rickey happened at Wrigley Field. Nate Silver and I were down on the field, the first time Nate had gone through the gate. The Dodgers were warming up and I wanted to talk to someone just to get Nate the experience. Rickey jogs by and I ask him if he has some time. He stops and talks -- I'm sure the article is searchable -- then pauses, walks over to John Shelby and another teammate, and comes back to finish the conversation. The three things I remember is how polite and forthcoming he was, that he never referred to himself in the third person, and that Nate looked like a deer in headlights. Times change, Nate's a rock star, and Rickey will be a HOFer. (Will Carroll)
2008-12-05 14:00:00 (link to chat)Ron Santo is going to get in this time, right? I feel for the guy, it actually matters to him. Rickey Henderson, shoo-in. Jim Rice, inevitable. Blyleven? possible. Is anyone else even anywhere near possible?
(Mike from Chicago)
Thank you for writing my entire JAWS series in a few sentences! The other guy who has a shot this yera is Andre Dawson, who polled 65.9 percent last year. Along with Rice and Blyleven, the only player not to get in after passing 50 percent is Hodges, so the odds are strong in favor of an eventual enshrinement. (Jay Jaffe)
2008-12-05 14:00:00 (link to chat)When do will you start the HOF articles? Does Rock get anymore respect this year? Is this the year Blyleven gets in?
(spencerja78 from Indy)
Soon, hopefully very soon on the HOF series. Tim Raines is in for another tough year because of Rickey Henderson's presence on the ballot; 3000 hits and the runs and stolen bases records make him my Lock of the Week. Blyleven may get some love, but watch out for a surge from Jim Rice, who's in his final year on the ballot and barely missed last year. I strongly advocate against Rice, but the electorate seems to think otherwise. (Jay Jaffe)
2008-10-06 14:00:00 (link to chat)What will the clowns say when Rickey Henderson isn't voted in unanimously? He might be one of the 25 best EVER.
(Robert from DC)
They'll cite the holdout, the "selfishness," the two strikes. They'll cite the speech, pulling a single quote out of context. Probably some reference to his attitude. No mention of his love for baseball. None.
Rickey Henderson is right there with Stan Musial among the most underrated players in baseball history. (Joe Sheehan)
2008-09-16 13:00:00 (link to chat)Where would you put Rickey Henderson when considering the "one guy from any time period to build your franchise around" premise? He'd have to be there somewhere, right?
(dills from chicago)
I thought of him too, especially if you can use him and his hamstrings as a CF (building up the middle again). I balanced him against Jackie and made the call on positional flexibility and leadership. (Steven Goldman)
2008-09-10 13:00:00 (link to chat)With the Jays on the noggin, who's going to be the first player into the HoF with a Blue Jays cap?
(Aaron from YYZ)
Rickey Henderson? Fred McGriff? Lyle Overbay? Maybe a successful VC campaign for Dave Stieb?

That's a stumper. I honestly don't know the answer. (Jay Jaffe)
2008-09-10 13:00:00 (link to chat)Jay, I've been having healthy debate RE: Rickey Henderson and the Hall... myh stance is that not only is he an inner circle HoF, but that he's one of the 10 best offensive players in the history of the game. Thoughts?
(strupp from Madison)
I'm not sure I could make a case for top 10 - the heavy hitters do win out, according to EqA and most other metrics - but inner circle for sure. (Jay Jaffe)
2008-06-20 13:30:00 (link to chat)Joe, here is a hypothetical question. Your lineup spots 2 through 9 are set and you get to pick a leadoff hitter. Do you take the peak version of Rickey Henderson or Barry Bonds? Thanks!
(Mark from CT)
I take peak Barry Bonds for any role over any player in history except for Babe Ruth. (Joe Sheehan)
2008-05-28 13:00:00 (link to chat)I love false nostalgia for a fake time in baseball...everything about Baseball in the 80's was an attempt to make it like other sports...multi-purpose stadiums all around, awful "modern" jerseys (Astros, White Sox, etc.) Emphasis on the speed game to make it "faster" . . . bad times. Baseball was trying to be something it wasn't. Look at the attendance...Baseball in the 80's stunk.
(George W. from Alexandria, VA)
You mean after the owners got together and decided to collude on salaries, they also colluded on offensive styles as well? You've completely misread history. Few teams emphasized speed to the exclusion of all else, principally the Cardinals, and that was only because that's how Whitey Herzog figured he could make his park work for him. Others had select players who could run and run really well, like Rickey Henderson or Eric Davis, but could also get on base and hit the ball out of the park. In many ways it was a more dynamic game, with all of those styles coming together to make a really varied offense. I would argue it was the apotheosis of all the eras that came before it, the truce between the lively ball and previous era of "inside baseball" and thus the epitome of baseball, a sampling of everything that made the game great... No defending the cookie cutter parks, but those were mostly the offspring of the 1970s and proved to be really transient. (Steven Goldman)
2008-01-28 13:00:00 (link to chat)How does slick fielding Oregon State Beaver Joey Wong project as a future professional baseball player? His glove can take him to the highest but what about his bat?
(jaymoff from Salem, OR)
Proud of Salem, right Jay? Joey is a good college lead-off player that, you're right, does some great things in the field. But in the end, this is a guy that is listed at 5-10, 160, and I doubt he's really that. Because he won't slug for much with a wooden bat, he needs to start showing Rickey Henderson patience as well as fantastic patience. In the end, though, playing in the MLB is probably a reach for Wong. (Bryan Smith)
2008-01-22 19:00:00 (link to chat)In basketball, we can see a player clearly dogging it: watching Vince Carter is great exercise. Raiders fans clearly saw a slack-assed version of Randy Moss. Hockey players clearly coast around--at least some do. Can we tell that sort of thing in baseball? I've been watching for decades, and I can't think of a guy who really looked slack on the field.
(JJ Malone from Texas)
I can think of a couple. Rickey Henderson -- who I mostly love as a player -- was criminally disinterested with the Mets his last time there as a player. I'm assuming he's more focused now that he's a coach. I've seen countless players dog it to first base on groundballs. It's sometimes hard to notice on TV because the camera follows the ball. You don't get to see the runner trotting to first. (Jim Baker)
2008-01-10 13:00:00 (link to chat)Is it crazy to say that Rickey Henderson was one of the ten best players of all-time? I think no. Talk me down from the ledge.
(Kottke from Memphis)
Yes. It's very hard to get there without being an up-the-middle player, or without having incredible power.

The argument for Rickey as the third-best left fielder ever is interesting. Musial edges him, but Stan spent so much time at first base that you have to think it through.

Without looking it up, I'll say Rickey is between 27 and 32 on the greatest players ever. (Joe Sheehan)
2008-01-10 13:00:00 (link to chat)But Lane bats right and throws left. That has to be worth something.
(Roger from Brooklyn)
He's practically Rickey Henderson. (Joe Sheehan)
2008-01-08 14:00:00 (link to chat)So I have to say I don't quite understand the Raines HOF love around these parts (although I guess better that than more Rice love.) He was a very good player with a couple of great years and he did all the little things yeah yeah, but basically we are talking about seven at best good/great years and a bunch of filler. He was a good basestealer and an onbase threat, but he wasn't a fantastic defender and he didn't have much power despite playing a position where you usually like to see some. That doesn't seem like a HOF shoe in at all, but rather marginal at best. Obv the Hall is filled with many such characters (and a number of well below marginal ones), but is adding one more really something we want to make a big cause celeb over?
(Alex from SF, CA)
Raines had more than a couple of great years. He's one of the top 10 LFs of all time. compares quite favorably to the average HOF LF in terms of his value at his peak and over the course of his career. He was every little bit as valuable as Tony Gwynn both at his peak and over the coursse of his career due to his ability to get on base and to advance himself.

From the JAWS piece I wrote:

"According to JAWS, Raines compares quite favorably to the average Hall of Fame left fielder, breezing past both career and peak benchmarks. By this measure he ranks as the ninth-best left fielder of all time, behind Barry Bonds, Stan Musial, Rickey Henderson, Ted Williams, Pete Rose, Jim O'Rourke, Ed Delahanty, and Carl Yastrzemski--some pretty fair ballplayers. If that sounds crazy, consider that the New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract ranked Raines eighth back in 2001, calling him the second-most valuable leadoff hitter in history, behind only Henderson. If you weren't around for it, he was that good. Raines' overall WARP score ranks 81st all-time, 62nd among hitters. His peak score ranks 122nd all-time, 91st among hitters, and his JAWS is 88th all-time, 67th among hitters. If those numbers sound low, consider that the Hall of Fame contains 198 players whose major league careers we can measure via this method (i.e., non Negro-Leaguers or late-career crossovers like Satchel Paige and Monte Irvin), and historical estimates suggest we're witnessing another 30 or so Hall of Famers currently active."

For the rest of the piece please see here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7007 (Jay Jaffe)


BP Roundtables

DateRoundtable NameComment
2009-10-21 17:00:00NLCS Game 5bobbailey (Canada): Steve, I see your point about batting order, but doesn't maxing out PAs for your best hitter (putting him leadoff) mean that he will be batting with many fewer men on base, even with the extra PAs? Especially in the NL. Batting Pujols leadoff just doesn't seem like a good idea.

I think that you would lose in that transaction, but there are all kinds of other ways to skin that cat. I point to Billy Martin's 1985 Yankees, which often batted Rickey Henderson and Don Mattingly 1-2. Maybe Mattingly would have seen more runners if 75-90 walk guy Willie Randolph batted second, but Randolph also had no slugging, so he wasn't going to move Henderson more than one base, whereas Mattigly hit a lot of doubles and home runs. (Steven Goldman)