Henderson with the Oakland A's in 1989
July 21, 1958 |
Dos Palos, California
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|April 9, 1981 for the Seattle Mariners|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 29, 1994 for the Kansas City Royals|
|Runs batted in||708|
|Career highlights and awards|
David Lee Henderson (born July 21, 1958), nicknamed Hendu, is an American former Major League Baseball player who played for the Seattle Mariners (1981–1986), Boston Red Sox (1986–1987), San Francisco Giants (1987), Oakland Athletics (1988–1993) and Kansas City Royals (1994). He batted and threw right-handed. He attended Dos Palos High School, where his football #42 and baseball #22 were both retired for his hometown Broncos, who wear blue and gold. He graduated from Dos Palos High School in 1977.
Henderson helped his teams reach the World Series four times during his career (1986 with Boston, 1988–1990 with Oakland). However, his only World Series ring came in 1989, when the A's swept their Bay Area rivals, the San Francisco Giants.
1986 ALCS home run
Henderson is best remembered for the two-out, two-strike home run he hit in the top of the ninth inning in Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS. At the time, the California Angels were playing at home and had a 3-1 series lead. They had a 5-2 lead going into the ninth and were three outs away from their first-ever trip to the World Series, but Boston closed the gap to 5-4 on a two-run home run by former Angel Don Baylor.
When Henderson stepped to the plate, there were two outs and Rich Gedman was on first after being hit by a pitch. On a 2–2 count with the Red Sox down to their last strike in the series, Henderson, who had entered the game to replace the injured Tony Armas, then hit a drive off Donnie Moore that stunned the Angels and all of Anaheim Stadium. The home run 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 his glove an instant before he hit the fence, dislodging the ball and sending it over the fence. The Angels tied it up at six 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 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, his second scoring the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning of Game 6.
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 1988 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 Henderson 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 1993, 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 1994.
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.
From 1997 to 2006, Henderson worked as a color commentator during Seattle Mariners radio and television broadcasts. In 2011, he returned to the Mariners' radio booth as one of a rotating crew of part-time announcers succeeding the deceased Dave Niehaus.
- "BASEBALL; Zeile's Homer in 10th Sends Pirates to 8th Straight Loss". New York Times (August 4, 1991). August 4, 1991. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
- Venezuelan Professional Baseball League