The setup is to see Rickey sized up by the choir invisible hand have really worried. Walks off the teams, get the best hitter, Rickey stole second straight Outta Town.
The paragraph above, I think, sums Rickey Henderson up quite well. Like the splotches in an impressionist painting or the words in a Rickey Henderson speech, it makes no sense if you look it at too closely. But let it flow over you, and you can comprehend it–the divine talent, the opposition’s fear, the walks, the hitting, the stolen bases–Rickey Henderson was a Hall of Fame baseball player like no other.
And today, it becomes official. Here’s my best old Rickey story: watching an aging Rickey as a San Diego Surf Dawg. I wish I had some great new story to tell about him, but all I can think of are snapshots. Going to a game with an out-of-town friend and betting him that Rickey would take the count to 3-2 in the first at-bat, and winning the bet. The way he’d freeze and stare straight down at the ground and mutter if he disagreed with an umpire’s strike call. Watching him lead off both ends of a doubleheader with home runs. The fingers dangling as he eyed a pitcher, waiting to steal second. The headfirst slide, through the bag, not to the bag, as if he were trying to steal second straight Outta Town.