Five of Rickey Henderson’s finest on-field moments

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Mar 15, 2016; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics special instructor Rickey Henderson talks with fans prior to the game against the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 15, 2016; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics special instructor Rickey Henderson talks with fans prior to the game against the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /
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The beginning of a career of breaking records

Rickey Henderson was drafted in the fourth round of the 1976 amateur draft by his hometown team, the A’s. By 1979 he was in already in the big leagues.

He didn’t win the A.L. Rookie of the Year in 1979. That honor went to both John Castino of the Minnesota Twins and Alfredo Griffin of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Still, Henderson did steal 33 bases while batting .274. He only hit one home run that year but drove in 26 runs in just 89 games with Oakland.

However, in his sophomore season Henderson began his path to becoming the legend he is today.

Making his first of ten all-star appearances, Henderson batted .303 with a .420 on-base percentage.

His 100 stolen bases made him just the third player in baseball history to steal 100 bases in a single season along with Maury Willis who stole 104 in 1962 and Brock who stole 118 in 1974.

He showed more power, hitting nine home runs and led the league in stolen bases with 100.

Here is where Rickey began his history of breaking records, something that continued throughout his entire career.

His 100 stolen bases made him just the third player in baseball history to steal 100 bases in a single season along with Maury Willis who stole 104 in 1962 and Brock who stole 118 in 1974.

Yet, there are even more record breaking moments in what was just Henderson’s second season in the majors. His 100 stolen bases broke the Athletics’ franchise record that had been set back in 1910 by Eddie Collins, who finished the season with a mere 81.

He also set an American League record, besting the record set by Ty Cobb in 1915. Cobb stole 96 bases in 1915 and no one in the A.L. had come close to that number since.

Rickey Henderson finished tenth in the MVP voting in 1980 and likely should of finished higher on that list, however, the 1980 season was the year that Rickey began breaking records and started down the path of becoming a legend.

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