On This Date: Rickey Stands Alone
29 years ago today, Rickey Henderson became Major League Baseball’s all-time steals leader
All athletic events will be on pause for the foreseeable future, which is a tough pill to swallow for sports fans around the world.
While this may be a rough time for Oakland Athletics fans, we can look back on some good times while we wait for baseball to make its return.
May 1, 1991: A’s 7, Yankees 4
Oakland Athletics legend and MLB Hall of Fame outfielder Rickey Henderson cemented himself in baseball history on this date in 1991.
Coming into action on May 1, 1991 against the New York Yankees, Henderson needed one stolen base to lift himself above former Cardinals great Lou Brock’s then-current record of 938 stolen bases.
After getting caught stealing in the first inning, Henderson reached base on an error in the bottom of the fourth inning. Dave Henderson would single Rickey over to second base, setting him up for another crack at clinching the record.
On a 1-0 pitch to Harold Baines from Yankees starter Time Leary, Henderson took off for third base. He slid in safely, immediately hoisting the third base bag above his head in triumph.
Rickey Henderson passed Lou Brock with his 939th stolen base, an incredible accomplishment for one of the best players the game has ever seen.
In his 20-plus years of professional baseball, Henderson finished his career in 2003 with quite the resume:
- 3,055 career hits
- 297 home runs
- Two-time World Series champion (1989, 1993)
- Gold Glove Award (1981)
- 10-time All-Star
- American League MVP
Henderson set several MLB records in his time as a professional as well, such as:
- Stolen Bases: 1,406
- Career runs: 2,295
- Stolen Bases in a single season: 130
- Lead-off home runs: 81
In 2009, Rickey Henderson became a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, garnering 94.81% of the vote in his first time on the ballot.