Congratulations to Rickey Henderson, arguably the greatest lead-off hitter of all time, on his election to the Baseball Hall of Fame today.
As someone who grew up watching baseball in the 1970s and 1980s, Henderson was just amazing. Here’s what Kansas City Star columnist Joe Posnanski wrote on his blog about Henderson:
“I’m about give you one of my all-time favorite statistics: Rickey Henderson walked 796 times in his career LEADING OFF AN INNING. Think about this again. There would be nothing, absolutely nothing, a pitcher would want to avoid more than walking Rickey Henderson to lead off an inning. And yet he walked SEVEN HUNDRED NINETY SIX times to lead off an inning.
He walked more times just leading off in an inning than Lou Brock, Roberto Clemente, Luis Aparicio, Ernie Banks, Kirby Puckett, Ryne Sandberg and more than 50 other Hall of Famers walked in their entire careers…I simply cannot imagine a baseball statistic more staggering.”
Of course, Henderson is known not just for his on-the-field accomplishments, but his quirky behavior off the field. Some of the stories about Rickey are true (“tenure?”, framing a million dollar check) and some are apocryphal (the John Olerud story).
And Jim Rice finally gets in on his last chance on the ballot. We’ll let New Englanders like The Beat discuss the merits of him being elected.
Rickey got 94.8% of the vote and Rice got 76.4%. Sadly, no election for Andre Dawson (67%) or Bert Blyleven (62.7%). The shameful percentage for Tim Raines is just shocking.
Also congratulations to Tony Kubek, for winning the Ford Frick award for broadcasters. As a kid, I always preferred watching Costas and Kubek on NBC to Vin Sculley and Joe Garagiola, even though he was a former Yankee.
Posted by Mark Coale