Sunday, November 05, 2006


Minor Celebrity

Reason 6: He's still got it.

The last time Rickey Henderson played in a major league game was in 2003, and many naysayers assume he's gotten rusty since then. This is simply not so. Anyone who would say Rickey Henderson is rusty haven't been paying attention. Rickey's career batting average in the majors was .279. So how did the best leadoff hitter in history fare in the minor leagues, playing against kids in their early twenties while he was himself in his mid forties? Rickey Henderson's minor league stats answer that.

In 2003, Rickey Henderson played 56 games with the Newark Bears (who have also recently hosted both Canseco brothers) and hit .339 over 171 at bats with a staggering .493 on base percentage (OBP). In 2004, Rickey returned to Newark for 91 games. Although his batting average was around his career mark (.280), his OBP remained at an outstanding .462.

In 2005, Rickey Henderson played for the San Diego Surf Dawgs and posted a .270 batting average with a .456 OBP. Rickey rusty? Never. He may have been hanging in the minors, but he's been keeping his skills sharp and his reputation clean.

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