Congratulations to Rickey Henderson on being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Rickey was a special player — he’d say the same thing, in those exact words. On top of being a fun player to watch, Rickey Henderson was quite the character with a bag full of funny quotes and stories to his name. One of his more famous stories is one of the first, and funnier, stories my college coach ever told to my team as we brought it up after practice one day.
When Rickey Henderson was playing in Seattle, he approached John Olerud at the batting cage and asked him why he always wore that silly helmet. Olerud, slightly confused, explained that he had an aneurysm when he was nine years old and that he wore the helmet for protection.
Henderson: “Man, I played with a guy like that in Toronto. That’s crazy!”
Olerud: “Yeah, Ricky. That was me.”
I have since heard that this story is not true, but I don’t believe it’s not. Rickey Henderson has a million funny/dumb quotes, most confirmed, so where in the hell would this one come from? Rickey and John deny this story as being true, but I think they are just trying to save Rickey a little face. Who knows? Either way, it’s pretty funny.
Here are some other funny Rickey Henderson stories that my college coach told me or that I’ve heard over the years:
1) In Henderson’s first season with the Padres, he boarded the team bus and was looking for a seat. Steve Finley said, “You have tenure, sit wherever you want.” Henderson looked at Finley and said, “Ten years? Ricky’s been playing at least 16, 17 years.”
2) A reporter asked Henderson if Ken Caminiti’s estimate that 50 percent of Major League players were taking steroids was accurate. His response was, “Well, Rickey’s not one of them, so that’s 49 percent right there.”
3) Rickey Henderson took a limo to Cincinnati’s stadium even though the team hotel was less than a mile, legit walking distance, away.
4) Henderson referred to The Empire State Building as The “Entire” State Building.
5) When Henderson was playing with the Mets, he saw reporters running around the clubhouse before a game. He asked a teammate what was going on and he was told that Tom Robson, the team’s hitting coach, had just been fired. Henderson said, “Who’s he?”
6) Rickey would stand naked in front of full length mirrors before games and say over and over again, “Rickey’s the best.”
I did a google search for the rest of them that I could not possibly remember. I wasn’t willing to spend more than about 10 seconds on it, but if you want more Rickey quotes and stories, there is a pretty good list of them compiled on Inside Cheez.
Anyway, congrats again to Rickey Henderson, the brightest bulb in the tanning bed.