Many years ago, A’s leadoff man Rickey Henderson did what he did better than anyone: He reached base to start a game. Orioles manager Frank Robinson determined that his pitcher and catcher were incapable of stopping Henderson from stealing, so they didn’t attempt a throw as he stole second and third. “We might have thrown the ball into center field, or down the left field line,” Robinson said. “We couldn’t stop him. He is just too good.”
That’s how good Henderson was: He was too good. He was one of the greatest players of all time, the greatest leadoff man ever, one of the best left fielders, and a physical freak whose combination of speed and power was basically unmatched in major league history. He is the career leader in stolen bases (1,406) and runs scored (2,295), ranks second in walks (2,190), finished with 3,055 hits and won the American League MVP in 1992.