Rickey’s Ready For Social Security

It hit the news either today or yesterday that Rickey Henderson’s retiring. For a while, in the mid-80s of course, he was one of my favorite players, alongside Donnie Baseball, Tommy John, Willie Randolph and Mike Pagliarulo.

I’d go to a few Yankees games each year- but some of my favorite ones were with the Staten Island YMCA summer day camp. We’d get whole sections in the upper deck out in the outfield, when we were in left, and it was the top of the inning, we’d scream Rickey’s name at the top of our lungs. When we were in right, we’d scream for Dave Winfield. Rickey did a much better job of acknowledging us.

One of the games I remember (thanks to Retrosheet for the details) was August 24, 1988. A’s were visiting and took an early lead. By the eighth, it was 4-1, A’s. Yankees scored one in the bottom of the eighth, but Rickey made the last out of the inning. A’s scored two in the top of the ninth, but somehow, the Yankees came back with five in the bottom of the ninth- the game winner was a single by Rickey.

Rickey thinks the 86 Topps looked spiffy!

Of course the next year, they traded him for Eric Plunk, Luis Polonia and Greg Cadaret. I always think if the Yankees could have gotten just a little bit more (or something different) out of the Clark and Henderson trades, they wouldn’t have been as horrible in the early 90s. But the next decent trade the franchise would make wasn’t until the Sax for Melido Perez and Bob Wickman deal.

Well, thanks for the memories Rickey

Maybe in tribute, I should refer to myself in the third person for a whole day. The King will let you know how it goes.

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