Dave Henderson

Dave Henderson

[hen-der-suhn]

David Lee Henderson (born July 21 1958 in Merced, California), nicknamed Hendu, is an American former Major League Baseball player who played for the Seattle Mariners (-), Boston Red Sox (1986-), San Francisco Giants (1987), Oakland Athletics (-) and Kansas City Royals (). He batted and threw right-handed.

Henderson helped his teams reach the World Series four times during his career (1986 with Boston, 1988-1990 with Oakland). However, his only World Championship ring came in 1989, when the A's swept their Bay Area rivals, the San Francisco Giants.

1986 ALCS home run

The outfielder is probably best remembered for his two-out, two-strikes home run in the top of the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 1986 American League Championship Series. At the time, the California Angels were playing at home and were in firm command of the best-of-seven series, 3 games to 1. The Halos held a 5-2 lead going into the ninth inning and were three outs removed their first-ever trip to the World Series, but Boston was able to plate two runners on a home run by former Angel Don Baylor, closing the gap to 5-4.

When Henderson stepped to the plate, there were two outs and a runner on first base (catcher Rich Gedman). On a 2-2 count with the Red Sox down to their final strike in the series, Henderson, who had entered the game as a replacement for an injured Tony Armas, hit a drive off pitcher Donnie Moore that kept the Sox alive.

"The pitch . . . To left field, and deep, and Downing goes back. And it's gone! Unbelievable! You're looking at one for the ages here. Astonishing! Anaheim Stadium was one strike away from turning into Fantasyland! And now the Red Sox lead 6-5! The Red Sox get four runs in the ninth on a pair of two-run homers by Don Baylor and Dave Henderson."Al Michaels, ABC-TV.

Henderson began to jump for joy, even running backwards for a few steps, while making his way down the first base line as he watched the ball sail over the outfield fence, having just smacked possibly the most stunning clutch homer since Bobby Thomson in . The home run also saved Henderson from possibly being a scapegoat, after Bobby Grich's sixth-inning warning track fly ball deflected off his glove and over the wall for a two-run home run that gave the Angels a 3-2 lead. The ball hit the palm of Henderson's glove an instant before his wrist hit the fence, dislodging the ball and sending it over the fence. The Angels were able to tie the score up at 6-6 in the bottom of the ninth, but in the 11th inning, Henderson hit a sacrifice fly that would prove to be the margin of victory. Still down 3 games to 2, the Red Sox returned home to Fenway Park for the final two ALCS games, where they defeated the devastated Angels 10-4 and 8-1 to win the series.

He went on to hit .400 in a losing cause as the Red Sox were defeated in the 1986 World Series by the New York Mets in seven games. Henderson hit two home runs in that series.

Later career

Henderson was one of baseball's biggest surprises after signing as a free agent with Oakland following a brief stint with the Giants. In the season he set career highs in batting average (.304), runs (100), hits (154), slugging average (.525) and doubles (38). He also hit 24 home runs that season and the Athletics were 23-1 when he homered.

Selected for the 1991 All-Star Game, Henderson was on his way to the best season of his career, batting in the number-two spot in the A's lineup behind Rickey Henderson (no relation). The slugger was consistently getting fastballs to hit because the speedy Rickey was a stolen base threat every time he reached safely. Henderson was batting .340 before the All-Star break, but his average dipped in the second half of the season and he finished the year at .276, though he did hit a career-high 25 home runs. That year, Henderson blasted three home runs in consecutive at-bats against Minnesota.

While he did come back to hit 20 home runs in , Henderson was never the same player after blowing out his knee the previous season. He finished up his career as a reserve player with the Kansas City Royals in .

Statistics

In 14 seasons, Henderson batted .258 with 197 home runs, 708 RBI, 710 runs, 286 doubles, and 50 stolen bases in 1538 games. In eight post-season series (four ALCS and World Series appearances a piece), he hit .298 with seven home runs, 20 RBI, 24 runs, and a .570 slugging average.

Broadcasting career

From 1997 to 2006, Henderson worked as a color commentator during Seattle Mariners radio and television broascasts.

See also

External links

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