Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Rickey!


In honor of his hiring today as my favorite team's new hitting coach (which kinda has me scratching my head) here are some greatest hits, stolen from another blogger, who apparently stole them from someone else. I included the ones I had never heard before. Excerpts...


2) In the early 1980s, the Oakland A’s accounting department was freaking out. The books were off $1 million. After an investigation, it was determined Rickey was the reason why. The GM asked him about a $1 million bonus he had received and Rickey said instead of cashing it, he framed it and hung it on a wall at his house.

4) This one might be my second favorite. This wasn’t too long ago, I think it was the year he ended up playing with the Red Sox. Anyway, he called San Diego GM Kevin Towers and left the following message: “This is Rickey calling on behalf of Rickey. Rickey wants to play baseball.”

5) This one happened in Seattle. Rickey struck out and as the next batter was walking past him, he heard Henderson say, “Don’t worry, Rickey, you’re still the best.”

10) Henderson broke Ty Cobb’s career record for runs scored with a home run. After taking his usual 45 seconds or so around the bases, Rickey slid into home plate.

12) San Diego GM Kevin Towers was trying to contact Rickey at a nearby hotel. He knew Henderson always used fake names to avoid the press, fans, etc. He was trying to think like Rickey and after several attempts; he was able to get Henderson on the phone.
Rickey had checked in under Richard Pryor.

14) The Mets were staying in a hotel less than a mile from Cinergy Field in Cincinnati. While some players walked, most took the team bus. A few minutes after they arrived — again it was less than a mile – the last players off the bus noticed a stretched limo that had just pulled up.
Of course, Rickey emerged from the back seat.

15) A reporter once asked Rickey if he talked to himself, “Do I talk to myself? No, I just remind myself of what I’m trying to do. You know, I never answer myself so how can I be talking to myself?”

18) During a contract holdout with Oakland in the early 1990s, Henderson said, “If they want to pay me like Mike Gallego, I’ll play like Gallego.”

21) This is my all-time favorite. Rickey was pulled over by a San Diego police officer for speeding. As the officer was approaching Rickey’s car, the window went down a few inches and a folded $100 bill emerged. The officer let Rickey and his money head home without a ticket.

24) To this day and dating back 25 years, before every game he plays, Henderson stands completely naked in front of a full length locker room mirror and says, “Ricky’s the best,” for several minutes.

25) In the last week of his lone season with the Red Sox, Chairman Tom Werner asked Henderson what he would like for his ‘going-away’ gift. Henderson said he wasn’t going anywhere, but he would like owner John Henry’s Mercedes. Werner said it would be tough to get the same make and model in less than a week and Henderson said, “No, I want his car.” Turns out the Sox got Henderson a Red Thunderbird and when he saw it on the field before the last game of the season, Rickey said, “Whose ugly car is on the field?”

Whatever you think of Rickey, as a Yogi Berraesque guy, he really is ONE of the greatest, though not the greatest. Bill James said that if you cut him in half you would have two Hall of Famers. I agree. On that note, I'm organizing a road trip for Cooperstown, NY in the summer of 2010, or 11, or 12...somewhere around then. I predict it will be the greatest speech ever, not just in baseball.

3 Comments:

Blogger kenniebloggins said...

These are all good, but I doubt the veracity of the framing of the bonus and the ticket in San Diego stories. The framing of the bonus just seems ridiculous and officers typically don't report bribes to the public. But, I guess as far as Rickey's life is concerned, anything is possible.

7/12/2007 7:11 AM  
Blogger Huevos McGringo said...

i think the framing of the bonus story is totally plausible. for rickey.

7/13/2007 9:33 AM  
Blogger deuce deuce said...

i think the framing of the bonus is priceless. heh. heh.

7/14/2007 1:02 PM  

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