Wednesday, November 01, 2006


"Lou Brock was a great base stealer, but today I am the greatest."

Reason 2: Rickey Henderson is a Hall of Famer

A 10-time All Star, Rickey Henderson not only led the AL in stolen bases in 12 separate seasons (7 of them consecutive from 1980-1986), but his 1406 stolen bases make him the greatest base stealer of all time. In fact, Rickey Henderson's career numbers dwarf Lou Brock's (2nd all time SB) by almost 500!

But of course records aren't the only thing that get you into the hall of fame. Sportswriters have a little to do with it, and what do they have to say? In 2001, Baseball Digest writer Irv Moss explained why Rickey Henderson is the greatest lead-off hitter of all time:

"At 42, Henderson surpassed Ty Cobb as the all-time record holder for runs scored--and on October 7, he became the 25th major league player to reach 3,000 hits when he double off Colorado's John Thomson. Already rated as one of baseball's best leadoff hitters, if not the best, Henderson holds the big-league record for walks at 2,141. His major league records also include 1,395 stolen bases and 79 first-inning leadoff home runs."

Ann Tatko-Peterson of the Contra Costa Times sings similar praises:

"Starting in 1980, his second season, Henderson led the league in stolen bases seven straight seasons. It may have been 11 straight if not for an injury in 1987... Statistician Bill James wrote in 2000, 'without exaggerating one inch, you could find 50 Hall of Famers, who, all taken together, don't own as many records, and as many important records, as Rickey Henderson.'"

Rickey Henderson is a Hall of Famer, and nobody can deny that. Who doesn't want a Hall of Famer on their team?

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