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A day late, but the sentiment is the same. Congratulations Mr. Henderson on making it into the Hall of Fame.

rickey

(here’s Rickey pondering his next at-bat, just how Night Owl likes them)

As you know, Rickey ended his MLB career in 2003 with the Dodgers. Admittedly, when then-GM Dan Evans picked him up, I was quite disappointed. The Dodgers were tied for 1st in the NL West as recently as June 22nd, but were fading fast. By July 14th, they were in 3rd, 7.5 games out. The Dodgers needed some offensive punch, not to mention a leadoff hitter who could get on base. The trio of Dave Roberts, Alex Cora, and Cesar Izturis just wasn’t cutting it.

So, as awesome a career as Rickey had, he certainly wasn’t what I figured the Dodgers would get to. Nor was the trade for Jeromy Burnitz two weeks later.

In the end, it didn’t matter, as Rickey rode off into the sunset, and the Dodgers finished 15.5 games out of first place.

I thought about it last night, but in all the games I saw in person in 2003, I don’t believe Rickey ever was in the lineup. Could very well have been, but that summer was rather momentuous for me, and I didn’t get to many more games after mid-season or so.

Which led me to think — how many future HOFers have I seen play in person? Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Gary Sheffield, and Barry Bonds (well, should be a future HOFer) come to mind. But I don’t think I ever saw Trevor Hoffman close one out for the Padres (on that note, I never once saw Eric Gagne close out a game in person), nor did I ever see Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez, Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez,  Albert Pujols, or Manny Ramirez for that matter.

Fortunately, I still have plenty of time to see the last three in action — with the third preferably still wearing Dodger blue. I rarely get to see MLB games in person now, but I do plan on being more mindful when it’s future HOFers we’re talking about.

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2 Comments

  1. Try living where I live and seeing the Dodgers in person.

    But interestingly, I actually once did get to see Eric Gagne close out a game in person. In Montreal. Of course, that option is gone forever.

  2. Well, I’m real lucky because I have spent most my life in the San Francisco bay area which means American League and National League stadiums near by. I’ve seen all those guys you list except I don’t remember seeing Smoltz or Glavine but I don’t doubt that I did, I just don’t remember.
    I moved last year so it’s not as easy to go anymore 2 1/2 hour drive. Bummer.
    But in 2007 I could walk about 100 yards, hope on a train and it would drop me off right outside the Giants Park. Watch the game and get a ride almost right back to my front door.


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