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Rickey Henderson Slides in Easy -- Into the Hall of Fame posted on 01/12/2009
It was nearly 20 years ago that Rickey Henderson took that first step towards second.
In a Sunday afternoon game against the Texas Rangers, the Athletics left fielder started his career off with a double. But two innings later, Henderson would do one of the many things he became known for -- a single followed up by a stolen base.
Today Henderson was voted to the Baseball Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2009, grabbing an impressive 94.8 percent of the votes (511 of the 539 eligible voters).
Henderson is the best lead off hitter to have ever played the game. Certainly the 1,406 stolen bases he grabbed in his 24-year career factor into the equation, but the man offered every team he played for more than turning singles into doubles, doubles into triples and singles into triples.
Jason Giambi coming back to the Oakland Athletics turns my stomach.
It turns my stomach because I remember Giambi signing with the New York Yankees for seven years and $120 million because Oakland’s six-year, $90 million dollar extension wasn’t good enough. I turns my stomach because I remember the last press conference I watched of his had the tattooed sporting, goatee wearing, long haired first baseman I had come to admire on stage in pinstripes, clean shaven, short hair and no tattoos saying that he has waited his whole life to be a New York Yankee.
It turns my stomach because bringing back one of the main names in baseball’s steroid controversy -- is a good idea.
There, I said it!
I’ve sat with fellow Athletic fans and attempted to justify not bringing back the 2001 AL-MVP. I said his numbers are not as good, he is old and more importantly, not on the juice anymore. Giambi isn’t going to be the player that Oakland fans remember. He’s a shell of the player he once was.