"Oh, that Rickey!"
To say the least, Rickey Henderson was a character. His 1,406 career stolen bases & 2,295 career runs stand as some of the most remarkable records in the game. Here are some funny tidbits regarding "Rickey":
*Rickey… on referring to himself in the third person: “Listen, people are always saying, ‘Rickey says Rickey.’ But it’s been blown way out of proportion. People might catch me, when they know I’m ticked off, saying, ‘Rickey, what the heck are you doing, Rickey?’ They say, ‘Darn, Rickey, what are you saying Rickey for? Why don’t you just say, ‘I?’ But I never did. I always said, ‘Rickey,’ and it became something for people to joke about.”
*A reporter once asked Rickey if he talked to himself, “Do I talk to myself? No, I just remind myself of what I’m trying to do. You know, I never answer myself so how can I be talking to myself?”
*Moments after breaking Lou Brock’s stolen base record, Henderson told the crowd – with Brock mere feet next to him – “Lou Brock was a great base stealer, but today, I am the greatest of all-time.”
*The Mets were staying in a hotel less than a mile from Cinergy Field in Cincinnati. While some players walked, most took the team bus. A few minutes after they arrived — again it was less than a mile – the last players off the bus noticed a stretch limo that had just pulled up. Of course, Rickey emerged from the back seat.
*A reporter asked Henderson if Ken Caminiti’s estimate that 50 percent of Major League players were taking steroids was accurate. His response was, “Well, Rickey’s not one of them, so that’s 49 percent right there.”
*Henderson broke Ty Cobb’s career record for runs scored with a home run. After taking his usual 45 seconds or so around the bases, Rickey slid into home plate.
*Rickey was asked if he had the Garth Brooks album with Friends in Low Places and Henderson said, “Rickey doesn’t have albums. Rickey has CDs.”
*In June 1999, when Henderson was playing with the Mets, he saw reporters running around the clubhouse before a game. He asked a teammate what was going on and he was told that Tom Robson, the team’s hitting coach, had just been fired. Henderson said, “Who’s he?”
*Henderson once fell asleep with an ice pack on his foot and got frostbite. He missed 3 games.
*Rickey was pulled over by a San Diego police officer for speeding. As the officer was approaching Rickey’s car, the window went down a few inches and a folded $100 bill emerged. The officer let Rickey and his money head home without a ticket.
*When he was on the Yankees in the mid-1980s, Henderson told teammates that his condo had such a great view that he could see, “The Entire State Building.”
*To this day and dating back 25 years, before every game he plays, Henderson stands completely naked in front of a full length locker room mirror and says, “Rickey’s the best,” for several minutes.
*Rickey once asked a teammate how long it would take him to drive to the Dominican Republic.
*In the last week of his lone season with the Red Sox, Chairman Tom Werner asked Henderson what he would like for his ‘going-away’ gift. Henderson said he wasn’t going anywhere, but he would like owner John Henry’s Mercedes. Werner said it would be tough to get the same make and model in less than a week and Henderson said, “No, I want his car.” Turns out the Sox got Henderson a Red Thunderbird and when he saw it on the field before the last game of the season, Rickey said, “Whose ugly car is on the field?”
*The morning after the Sox finished off the sweep against St. Louis in 2005, Henderson called someone in the organization looking for tickets to Game 6 at Fenway Park.
*During his first go-round with the San Diego Padres, he was looking for a seat on the team bus and teammate Steve Finley said, "Sit anywhere you want, you got tenure." "Ten years? What are you talking about? Rickey got 16, 17 years." The bus broke up.
*"If my uniform doesn't get dirty, I haven't done anything in the baseball game.”
*"I like playing for Oakland, they have a very colorful uniform”
*In the early 1980s, the Oakland A's accounting department was freaking out. The books were off $1 million. After an investigation, it was determined Rickey was the reason why. The GM asked him about a $1 million bonus he had received and Rickey said instead of cashing it, he framed it and hung it on a wall at his house.
*Perhaps, the most famous incident is unfortunately untrue, but a few weeks into Henderson’s stint with the Mariners, he walked up to Olerud at the batting cage and asked him why he wore a batting helmet in the field. Olerud explained that he had an aneurysm at nine years old and he wore the helmet for protection. Legend goes that Henderson said, “Yeah, I used to play with a guy that had the same thing.”Legend also goes that Olerud said, “That was me, Rickey.”Henderson played with Olerud on the Blue Jays and the Mets.
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