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Monday, January 12, 2009

The Voters Called Rickey Henderson and Told Rickey that Rickey Had Been Elected to the Hall of Fame on Rickey's First Try. It's a Great Day For Rickey

Posted By on Mon, Jan 12, 2009 at 11:59 AM

"This is Rickey calling on behalf of Rickey. Rickey wants to play


Stolen base king Rickey Henderson -- who also broke every record in the book for referring to oneself in the third-person -- cruised into baseball's Hall of Fame today in his first year of eligibility with the ease he used to demonstrate committing mass larceny on the basepaths.

A full 94.8 percent of the voters from the Baseball Writers' Association of America cast their lots for Rickey, an Oakland native whose best years were spent with his hometown A's. See his amazing statistics here.

The only thing keeping Henderson out of the Hall was his stubborn refusal to hang up his cleats; even at recently as 2005 he was playing the lowest level of organized baseball for the San Diego Surf Dawgs -- at age 46. Why? As he noted in a truly spectacular New Yorker article at the time, "
I just don't know if Rickey can stop."

That quote illustrated so much. It also was typical of a man who outclassed even Reggie Jackson when it came to referring to himself by name. A sampling of the best Rickeyisms of all time:

  • "Last night, I dropped down on my knees and I asked God, 'Why are you doing this to Rickey? Why did you put me here?'"

  • "Rickey don't like it when Rickey can't find Rickey's limo."

  • "Listen, people are always saying, 'Rickey says Rickey.' But it's been

    blown way out of proportion. People might catch me, when they know I'm

    ticked off, saying, 'Rickey, what the heck are you doing, Rickey?' They

    say, 'Darn, Rickey, what are you saying Rickey for? Why don't you just

    say, 'I?' But I never did. I always said, 'Rickey,' and it became

    something for people to joke about."

  • In a phone call to San Diego General Manager Kevin Towers: "This is Rickey calling on behalf of Rickey. Rickey wants to play


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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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