Rickey. By: Josh Johnson
There is only one Rickey Henderson and in my mind he was greatest ever. Yes, he only had 297 career homers and yes his career batting average in only .279. I believe however, being a career leadoff hitter, that his batting average is somewhat jaded. Listen, we all know that Rickey was clearly a thief on the base path. Anyone ever heard of a Rickey-Rally? It’s when Rickey would leadoff the game by drawing a walk then he’d steal second and third base and score on a sacrifice fly and it’s a 1-0 lead without a the benefit of a hit. Mr. Henderson also stole 100 bases in a season three times his career, only one other modern day player has done that (Vince Coleman.) He also stole at least 70 bases in seven different seasons. Yes, Rickey might have played too long but at age 39 he lead the league in stolen bases with 66 and in walks (118). Even still after 24 seasons in the majors his career on-base percentage is .401 that is amazing considering Ichiro’s career .OBP is .376 and only Albert Pujols (.426) and Todd Helton (.424) are better amongst active players. Another Left fielder with a monster career .OBP was hit machine Ted Williams who is the all-time leader at .482 other notables include Babe Ruth .474, Barry Bonds .444, Tris Speaker .428 and Cupid Childs .416.
Not only did Rickey average 74 stolen bases per 162 games but he also average 115 walks per 162 games as well. To truly prove how great Rickey was you have to look the negative stats as well, yes Rickey was human enough to average 89 strikeouts per 162 and he is the All-Time leader in Caught Stealing with 335 (only ten active players have more than 335 successful career swipes.) There are two very amazing stats that Rickey accomplished. First Rickey was caught stealing 42 times 1982 (the same year in successfully stole 130 bases) do you how good you have to be to get caught stealing 42 times in one season. Secondly and the most amazing Rickey stat was set 1985 when Rickey scored 146 runs in 143 games. Runs scored are the most important baseball stat because if don’t score runs you don’t win. Rickey also holds the All-Time record for runs scored in a career with 2295 and he average 121 runs per 162 games.
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