And think about this: Pitchers REALLY did not want to walk Rickey for all the obvious reasons. I mean, Ted Williams, sure, walking him often made sense; I suspect most pitchers did not kick themselves for walking Ted Williams. But Rickey — he was probably going to steal second on you, maybe steal third. Even if he didn’t steal, he was going to create all sorts of tension. Nobody WANTED to walk Rickey Henderson.Posnanski gives quite a bit more evidence in Rickey's favor as well. And he doesn't even include comedy.
But they could not help it because Rickey would get in that crouch (Jim Murray wrote that his strike zone was the size of Hitler’s heart), and he would foul off pitches, and he would just WILL his way on base. Put it this way — and I’m about give you one of my all-time favorite statistics: Rickey Henderson walked 796 times in his career LEADING OFF AN INNING. Think about this again. There would be nothing, absolutely nothing, a pitcher would want to avoid more than walking Rickey Henderson to lead off an inning. And yet he walked SEVEN HUNDRED NINETY SIX times to lead off an inning.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Love for Rickey
As I've mentioned before, Rickey Henderson is my favorite baseball player of all time. He's eligible for the Hall of Fame this year. Joe Posnanski has an excellent blog post about why he should receive a vote from every Hall voter.