Henderson right at home at Hall of Fame
By Craig Muder
With his back to plaques of some of the most famous players in baseball history, Rickey Henderson sat down and was immediately confronted with microphones, flash bulbs and notepads. But if he had been any more relaxed, you’d have thought he was on his couch at home.
Fitting, since the Man of Steal was always most composed in the midst of utter chaos on the baseball diamond. It was Henderson — and his singular baserunning ability — who always made others nervous
Henderson and his wife Pamela came to Cooperstown on Friday for his orientation tour. With only 11 weeks until his July 26 induction into the Hall of Fame, Henderson had a chance to visit the Museum and learn what to expect during the weekend that will be the crown jewel of his record-setting career.
“It’s great to see all the history here,” Henderson said. “I think you don’t feel it until you get here.”
His tour completed, Henderson held court with the media — recounting stories and reflecting on his accomplishments. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in January on his first appearance on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot — garnering almost 95 percent of the vote.
As the career leader in runs (2,295) and stolen bases (1,406), Henderson’s election was no surprise. But the minute the call came this winter, Henderson’s life changed forever.
I’m going to spend the next few weeks doing what I’ve been doing since January: Preparing for Hall of Fame Weekend,” Henderson said. “It’s only going to happen once, so I’m going to enjoy it.”
Henderson will join Jim Rice and Joe Gordon as the Class of 2009 at the Hall of Fame. For more details on Hall of Fame Weekend — including the free Induction Ceremony — visit www.baseballhall.org.
Craig Muder is director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.