Yesterday, 46-year-old Rickey Henderson signed with a minor-league baseball team, the San Diego Surf Dawgs, in yet another attempt to prolong his athletic career. And what a career it's been. I'd argue Henderson is one of the best baseball players I've ever seen. He could seemingly do everything on the field. He's Major League Baseball's all-time leader in career stolen bases and runs scored, holds the record for most stolen bases in a season, and had the most career walks until Barry Bonds passed him in 2001.
He's the greatest. Just ask him.
▪ Immediately after breaking Lou Brock's stolen base record, the Oakland Athletics held an on-field ceremony commemorating the occasion. Rickey ended a relatively gracious speech by saying, "Lou Brock was the symbol of great base stealing. But today, I'm the greatest of all time. Thank you."
▪ Henderson often referred to himself in the third person. He once called the general manager of a baseball team, looking for a job, and said "Rickey wants to play another year and he thinks he wants to play for you."
▪ While playing for the San Diego Padres late in his career, Henderson got onto the team bus and was looking for a seat. A teammate, Steve Finley, said, "Sit anywhere you want, you got tenure."
▪ This one apparently isn't true, but it's so funny that it should be: While playing for the Seattle Mariners, Rickey approached John Olerud, who wears a batting helmet on the field because of a brain aneurysm he suffered, and said "I used to play with a dude in New York who did the same thing."
Olerud's response? "That was me." Olerud and Rickey had previously played together with the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays.