Rickey dug deep into his memories while giving his Hall of Fame induction speech. He reflected on his childhood, and even had a Reggie Jackson story to tell.
Said Henderson, "As a kid growing up in Oakland, my heroes were Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Reggie Jackson. What about that Reggie Jackson? I stand out on the ballpark in the parking lot waiting for Reggie Jackson to give me an autograph. Reggie used to come out all the time and I'd say, "Reggie, can I have an autograph?" He would pass me a pen with his name on it. He never gave me an autograph."
Now Reggie can ask for Rickey's autograph instead.
Henderson continued, "In 1976, my first year in the minor league, my coach, Tom Treblehorn, helped me develop my skill in base running and taught me to play the game hard. I had not perfected how to take a lead or how to slide. Tom asked me to come to practice early every day and work on my sliding and base running skill. I guess, Tom, that hard
work paid off for me, and I am very grateful".
"In June of 1979, I received a call from Charlie O. Finley. He wanted me to play in the big league for the Oakland A's. That was the most thrilling time of my life, playing the game that I loved in my home town in front of my family and friends was a dream come true. Charlie, wherever you at, and that donkey, I want to say thank you for the opportunity."
Given Rickey's obvious talent, I am sure that someone would have picked up on it eventually.
Later on, Henderson finished up, "In my career, I had the good fortune to play for nine teams. It was wonderful because this allowed me to meet fans all over the country. It's the fans that makes the game fun. To all the fans, thank you. Thank you. Thank you for your wonderful support over all these years."
"I would like to thank everyone here and all over the country for sharing this special moment with me and my family. To all the kids out there: Follow your dream. Believe in your dream. Because dreams do come true."
"When you think of me, I would like you to remember that kid from the inner city that played the game with all of his heart and never took the game for granted. Thanks to everyone here for making my dream come true today."
"In closing, I would like to say my favorite hero was Mohammad Ali. He said at one time, "I am the greatest." That is something I always wanted to be. And now that the Association has voted me into the Baseball Hall of Fame, my journey as a player is complete. I am now in the class of the greatest players of all time. And at this moment, I am very, very humble. Thank you."
And Thank You Rickey!!!
( I set a personal record for most Rickey's in one story. )
On behalf of Padre fans everywhere—Rickey Rules!!!
Rickey Henderson holds the following all time MLB records:
Stolen bases 1,406
Caught stealing 335
Runs scored 2,295
Games led off with a home run 81
Unintentional walks 2,129
Stolen bases in a season 130 1982
Caught stealing in a season 42 1982
Stolen bases in a single postseason series 8 1989 ALCS
American League stolen bases leader 12 1980–86, 1988–91, 1998
Major league stolen base leader 6 1980, 1982–83, 1988–89, 1998
Major league runs scored leader 5 1981, 1985–86, 1989–90
American League walks leader 4 1982–83, 1989, 1998
Major league on-base percentage leader 1 1990
American League hits leader 1 1981
World Series Titles 2 1989 Oakland A's, 1993 Toronto Blue Jays
American League MVP 1990
American League Championship Series MVP 1989
Ten-time All-Star 1980, 1982–88, 1990–91
Gold Glove for the Outfield 1981
Three-Time Silver Slugger for Outfield 1981, 1985, 1990
The Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award 1999