A Biography in 1,000 Players No. 14 Rickey Henderson (Number 4 Left Field)

Rickey Henderson is the greatest leadoff man of all time. I did a study on leadoff statistics. I developed a formula that combined the things a leadoff man should do well, get on base, score runs and steal bases. I then rated all hitters, including non-leadoff hitters, every major league season. I Bill James Online reader posts I listed a top 10 for every league in Major League History. I named it the Rickey Award as I already knew that Rickey was the greatest leadoff man ever. He is the all-time leading scorer in runs and has the most lifetime steals. He is 53rd all time in on base percentage. Rickey won the award 9 times in the 1980s. I figured out the top 10 leaders for the Rickey Award for each decade and Rickey was the easy winner.

I wondered how he would do in the 90s. He had 3 more wins and won the decade award for the American League again. This time the race was close, but Rickey also had a couple of top 10 years in the National League.

I always liked Rickey in the 1993 World Series. He was swinging the bat well, he had only 5 hits in the 6-game series, but he got Philadelphia pitchers to walk him 5 times in the series. He had a .393 on base average in the series and scored 6 runs in 6 games.

Rickey won 12 stolen base titles. He holds the season record for stolen bases which you shouldn’t as counting stolen bases wasn’t consistent. Sometimes they counted runners taking an extra base on a single. Rickey had 1,406 stolen bases, which is 468 ahead of second place Lou Brock.

Notice I called him Rickey a lot through out the article. That is in part he called himself Rickey. He talked in the third person a lot talking to the press. The press use to make fun of him for this. I wouldn’t care what he called himself when he could play like he played.

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Author: Douglas Byzewski

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