Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rickey Henderson at Cooperstown

Just don't be surprised when this really happens in July...

(Rickey arrives at the podium with no prepared speech in hand. Only a bat is in his hand.)

"Rickey is here today to talk about and celebrate Rickey. Rickey won’t talk long, but wants to say a few things about Rickey before Rickey comes up and talks about Rickey. Rickey never knew a better baseball player than Rickey. Rickey stole more bases, scored more runs and hit more leadoff home runs than anyone else in baseball. And if Rickey hadn’t been blessed with so much speed, Rickey would’ve hit third, hit .330 and hit more homeruns than anyone else.

And Rickey can still play if Rickey had the chance. Don’t tell Rickey the Kansas Royals couldn’t use Rickey in left field. Rickey can still hit. Rickey can still run. Ain’t nobody in Kansas doin’ that right now.

But Rickey’s not here for no job. Rickey’s here because he’s the best of all-time. They ought to have a Rickey Hall of Fame where only Rickey’s allowed in. Rickey got no peers. There’s only one Rickey. And here Rickey stands."

(Does some sort of awkward handshake/hug thing with himself, while a confused crowd lightly and politely applauds when they realize Rickey has just introduced himself.)

"Thank you, thank you. Rickey always did love the fans, especially Rickey fans. When Rickey broke into the big leagues in 1979, people who Rickey can’t remember didn’t know what Rickey could do. Could Rickey run? Could Rickey hit? Rickey just said, 'Watch, and Rickey will show you Rickey can do it all.'

And Rickey showed them all. Rickey became the only centerfielder in baseball. Someone Rickey doesn't remember once tried to compare Lenny Dykstra to Rickey. Rickey said, 'Who is Lenny Dykstra? He ain’t no Rickey. There’s only one Rickey. And only one centerfielder.'

Rickey’s career was a long and happy one. Rickey played hard, set records and won some World Seriouses. Rickey also made enough money that Rickey ain’t goin’ broke anytime soon.

But Rickey loves baseball and now Rickey knows baseball loves Rickey. They say the Hall of Fame is full of great players. Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Lou Brock. These were all great players. But today, Rickey is the greatest."

(Sets down the bat he was carrying. Then pulls out a pair of neon green batting gloves, puts them on, picks up a base hidden behind the podium and lifts it to the sky.)

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