Yesterday was a big day for true baseball fans. Most people probably didn’t even notice what happened, but it was a great day to reflect and dialogue about some of the greatest baseball players to ever wear an MLB uniform. It was the day when some great players were inducted into to baseball Hall of Fame.
One player in particular made me think back to some very fond memories of being a kid and falling in love with the greatest game in the world!
Rickey Henderson entered the Hall of Fame. He’s the greatest lead-off hitter and base stealer the game has ever seen!
I was about 10 years old and Rickey was close to entering the prime of his career when my dad took me to a Mariners game in the old Kingdome. We sat right on the first base line in perfect view of all that happens between a pitcher, first baseman and a base-runner. I remember my dad purposely selecting those seats because he told me that I needed to closely watch this amazing baseball talent.
Well, my dad was right. Rickey was amazing! He brought life and energy to the diamond like few players could do. When Rickey was on base…it altered the entire game! He stole four bases that night…
Rickey Henderson wasn’t my all-time favorite player as a kid, but he certainly inspired me to play the game with passion. It’s really hard to say who in fact is my “childhood” favorite player. Dale Murphy, Pete Rose, George Brett, Kirby Puckett, Fernando Valenzuela, and Don Mattingly were all such great players who each had a style and approach to baseball that helped shape my love for the game.
When I think of the NBA…it’s Charles Barkley. The NFL…that’s easy, Steve Largent. But baseball? I guess I love the game too much to be able to say which player from my childhood was my absolute favorite.
As the Super Bowl nears, there are a lot of people who will grieve the absence of football. Not me. I like football very much, but I won’t miss it…because its absence means the presence of Spring Training is days away!
I’m curious…as you look back on your childhood, who were some of the athletes you most loved watching, following, and emulating? What was it about him or her that made inspired you?
Love and Peace.