As legend has it, Rickey Henderson used to stand naked in front of a mirror for 20 minutes before each game he played, repeating the same words over and over again.
“Rickey, you are the greatest. Rickey, you are the greatest.”
Fortunately, I cannot report this as actual fact, but it certainly sounds like the Rickey Henderson we watched leave his dynamic mark on the face of baseball during a remarkable 25-year playing career that seemed as if it might never end.
In some aspects of the game — walking, stealing bases, igniting an offense as a leadoff hitter — Henderson was the greatest baseball has ever seen, and that’s why my Hall of Fame ballot will have a check beside his name when it goes into the mailbox today.
Perhaps more than any athlete I’ve ever covered, Henderson loved referring to himself in the third person, and yes, that includes even Herschel Walker, who loved to talk about Herschel.