July 13, 2007


Rickey Henderson A Steal for the Mets (TIM MARCHMAN, July 13, 2007, NY Sun)

Today is a glorious day. The Mets have done themselves, their city, and their game proud. Rickey Henderson — the greatest — is finally back in the majors, the newest addition to the Mets' coaching staff.

A few years ago, legend has it, San Diego Padres general manager Kevin Towers found the following message on his voice mail: "This is Rickey calling on behalf of Rickey. Rickey wants to play baseball." At the time, Rickey was 43 and still better than quite a few players in the majors. Towers demurred, Rickey moved on to the Boston Red Sox and put up a .369 on base average in 72 games, and the Padres lost 96 games.

There are a thousand Rickey Henderson stories, and I would like to believe that every single one of them is true, from the time he supposedly framed a check for a million dollars without bothering to cash it, to his supposed response when Tony Gwynn told him he could take any seat he'd like on the team bus, on account of his tenure. ("Ten? Rickey got 20 years in the big leagues!") They probably are all true. Why wouldn't they be? What's stranger, after all — the idea of Rickey standing naked in front of a mirror before every game declaiming, "Rickey's the best!" or the idea of a 47-year-old ballplayer, one of the 10 or 15 best of all time, playing for the San Diego Surf Dawgs?

If the Mets manage to make the playoffs it won't be surprising to see him on the active roster.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 13, 2007 12:06 PM
Comments for this post are closed.