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Season 1 Episode 931683

5/1/91: Man of Steal: Rickey Henderson's 939th Stolen Base

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5/1/91: Man of Steal: Rickey Henderson's 939th Stolen Base
May 1, 1991: New York Yankees 4 at Oakland A's 7, F -- 32-year-old Rickey Henderson, a 12-year MLB veteran, was playing in his 1,627th game, 989 less than Lou Brock's 2,616, but was only one stolen base away from Brock's all-time record of 938. It was the middle of the fourth inning, and Rickey Henderson's mom, Reggie Jackson and reigning stolen base king Brock, along with 36,139 fans, were in jammed into the Oakland Coliseum, waiting to witness the once-in-a-lifetime event. Rickey had already reached base on a walk in the first inning, but was gunned down by a perfect throw by Yankees' catcher, Matt Nokes. He had struck out in his second at-bat. Now, Rickey led off the bottom of the 4th inning against Tim Leary, and promptly stung a hard single through the shortstop's legs. With Dave Henderson at the plate, Rickey teased a false start on the 1-0 pitch, and with the count 2-1, Leary attempted a pickoff, which the crowd booed heartily. Then Dave Henderson hit a hard grounder to Randy Velarde deep in the third-base hole, but he could not get either Henderson. Rickey now stood at second, looking greedily at third -- a base he had stolen 215 out of 938 times -- no outs, with the huge right-hander Jose Canseco up. Perfect: Jose blocked a clear path for Nokes to throw down to third. Another pickoff attempt failed and was met with boos. What kind of party pooper was Tim Leary anyway? Canseco popped out, runners stayed put. Up came lefty Harold Baines. Another pickoff attempt booed, and then, on the 1-0 pitch, Rickey made his run for the record books. He slid in safely, and the dust cleared to Rickey holding the 939th bag aloft, beginning his reign as "The Man of Steal." During the on-field ceremonies Brock presented Rickey with a bronze statue and commemorative plaque, and, after thanking God, his mom, the fans, and the late Billy Martin, Rickey proclaimed, "Lou Brock was a symbol of great base stealing. But today, I am the greatest of all time." As a footnote, Rickey doubmoreless

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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