MLB legend, Tim Raines took the time to speak with me about the man with the most stolen bases, Rickey Henderson. In this portion of an interview done on Monday, May 14, 2012, Raines explains that he believes Rickey ran to become the best ever, not for the team. He also believes that if he were less of a team player and ran the way that Rickey did, they would have similar numbers. You don’t want to miss these comments.
Raines wasn’t Rickey’s biggest fan. Truth is, Raines didn’t like Henderson all that much at all.
Baseball writer Marty York approached Raines during spring training in 1985. That year, Yogi Berra called Henderson the best base stealer in baseball history.
Raines was less then thrilled by Yogi’s claim.
“That’s horsewash. I know I’m the best. What I don’t know is whether many people realize it.”
He continued to say,
”When Henderson set the major-league record [by stealing 130 bases in 1982], his team [the Oakland A's] came in fifth or sixth. All he was concerned about was stealing bases for himself. It was an individual approach. If I wanted to be an individual player, I think I could steal more than 130 bases this year. But that’s not the way I work.”
In 1985, Raines batted .320/.405/.475 with 70 steals. He was caught just nine times.
Henderson batted .314/.419/.516 with 80 stolen bases in 90 attempts. Close, but a slight edge to Rickey.
It has been 27 years, but Raines has held on to that belief.
“Rickey ran to become the best ever, I didn’t really see it that way. I played the game to win, but I didn’t play to have stats.”
Raines went on to say,
“The one thing I didn’t do was, I didn’t try to steal a base just to pad my stats. I think that [Rickey] did that throughout his career, and that’s why he is what he is.”
You don’t want to miss the comments.