Daily Archives: December 25, 2011

Rickey Henderson’s Iconic 1980 Topps Rookie Baseball Card!!!

Rickey Henderson’s Iconic 1980 Topps Rookie Baseball Card!!!

Ask any collector to give you their ‘Top 5’ rookie cards to own from the 1980’s and the odds are pretty good that the 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson rookie card makes the list more often than not.

A classic design and great photo have kept this iconic card as a collecting goal for many almost 30 years after it’s release to the hobby.

Topps did a great job with this one…  Perfect photo choice.  Perfect colors used on the banners to compliment Rickey’s uniform.  And a perfect facsimile signature of one of the game’s brightest stars!! 

The 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson rookie card – I’ve got mine, do you have yours??

Baseball Card Companies Love Rickey Henderson!!!

Baseball Card Companies Love Rickey Henderson!!!

Rickey Henderson offered the baseball card companies something different.  They didn’t have to rely solely on posed photography or shots of Rickey in his batting stance at the plate.

Instead he gave the card companies beauties like these:

The anticipation of the next pitch…

Head-first slides…

Base stealing dominance….

Pictures where you can almost see the gears in his head spinning…

Rickey gave all of us handfuls of unique collectibles!!!  Thanks Rickey!!

Rickey Henderson And His Hall Of Fame Plaque

Rickey Henderson And His Hall Of Fame Plaque

I cannot think of a player more deserving of enshrinement at Cooperstown than Rickey Henderson.

The greatest lead-off hitter of all-time, Henderson turned base stealing into an art and was the barometer by which all future runners were held to – and nobody compared!!

Rickey Henderson had amazing baseball talent, and a personality to match.  While at times his interviews were more entertaining than his play, there is no doubt that Rickey is a baseball legend and several of his amazing accomplishments will not be matched by many players.

A true player, with an undying love for the game, Rickey Henderson is a Hall of Famer!!!

Rickey Has 2 Rings.

Rickey Has 2 Rings.

Unlike many of the game’s stars from the 1980’s, Rickey Henderson made it to the World Series and he took home 2 championship titles. 

In his 25-year career, Rickey played in 3 World Series match-ups.  Winning 2 of the 3 is pretty solid and Henderson was a key contributor both times.

In 1989, Henderson’s Oakland team beat the Giants in 4 games.  In that stretch, Rickey hit .474 while going 9 for 19.  He also collected 2 triples, a home run, 3 steals, scored 4 times and had 3 RBI.

And in 1993, Rickey’s Toronto Blue Jays teammates beat the Phillies in 6 games.  And while he was not as dominant as he had been during the 1989 Fall Classic, Henderson still managed to collect 6 hits, score 5 runs, and finish the series with a .393 on-base percentage. 

Rickey’s 1990 MVP Season!!!

Rickey’s 1990 MVP Season!!!

Rickey Henderson is the kind of player that can challenge for the MVP crown during each season that he plays.  His ability to separate himself from the rest of the league gave him constant respect from the voters.

It was no surprise that Rickey won the American League MVP award in 1990 – it’s just kind of surprising that it was his only one!!

In 1990, Henderson was the key that ignited the mighty Oakland A’s offense.  During that year, Rickey batted .325 and had an on-base percentage of .439.  He collected 159 hits, scored 119 runs, stole 65 bases ans smacked 28 home runs.  And in 594 plate appearances, Rickey struck out just 60 times.

Henderson’s 1990 campaign also included an All-star selection, a Silver Slugger award, and a trip to the World Series!!

Rickey Started Games With A BANG!!!

Rickey Started Games With A BANG!!!

Rickey Henderson started a game with a home run 81 times – another major league record!!

Leading this category but quite a large margin, the lead-off home run is just another way to separate Rickey from his peers.  Always physically ready and mentally prepared to take over, Rickey crushed 81 pitchers dreams before they were able to record a single out!!!

Truly remarkable!!

Rickey Henderson Scored Like Noone Else…

Rickey Henderson Scored Like Noone Else…

Scoring runs is what you want your lead-off hitter to do.  So why not do it better than anyone ever has before you?

For 25 major league seasons, Rickey Henderson batted lead-off.  He got on base in record numbers, which led to scoring a ton of runs.

While leading the league in runs scored just 5 times, it was Rickey’s consistency that landed him as the game’s all-time leader for runs scored.  Henderson accumulated 13 seasons in which he scored 100 or more runs.  And in total, he scored 2,295 times which is slightly above Ty Cobb who sits in second place. 

Bottom Line – When Rickey got on base he was a threat to score each and every time!!

Rickey Henderson Is A 10-time All-Star

Rickey Henderson Is A 10-time All-Star

Henderson tallied 10 All-Star team selections during his 25-year career.

All of his appearances on the All-star team came during his first 13 years in the league.  6 of his selections came from his playing days in Oakland while the other 4 were from his seasons with the Yankees.

All-star nominations and selections for Henderson were natural.  He was a dominant player that had the rare ability to change the game in many ways.  Whether it was with his bat, or his feet, or his glove, Rickey Henderson was one of the greatest players during the 1980’s and his appearance on 8 of the 10 All-star teams in that decade confirms his status as an elite player!

Run Rickey Run!!!

Run Rickey Run!!!

Obviously, Rickey Henderson was a very skilled baseball player.  But if there was one dominant trait that made Henderson stand head and shoulders above his teammates and peers, it was his base running.

Rickey ran the bases like no other.  Quite literally, he was the best base stealer and run scoring player of all-time.

In his 25-season big league career, Rickey stole 1,406 bases and scored 2,295 runs.  Each tally gives him sole possession of first place in baseball history. 

Personally, I don’t think either of these records will ever be contested.  Gone are the days of the 80 steals a year player, and if a player in today’s game could score 100 or more runs in 22 straight seasons, I would be shocked!

Rickey Henderson is one-of-a-kind!!

Happy Birthday Rickey Henderson!!!

A majority of the world is celebrating a special holiday today.  And in the ’30-YOC’ household we join in that celebration too!!

But I also save a few minutes of every Christmas to celebrate the birthday of one of my favorite baseball players from my youth – Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson.

And following suit, I will dedicate a day’s worth of posts to the newest player to be enshrined at Cooperstown!

Happy Birthday Rickey!!!