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Henderson with the Oakland A's in 1989
July 21, 1958|
|Died: December 27, 2015
|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 (July 21, 1958 – December 27, 2015), nicknamed "Hendu", was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, and Kansas City Royals during his 14-year career.
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.
Henderson attended Dos Palos High School, where his football #42 and baseball #22 were both retired for his home town Broncos.
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, 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 Angels 10–4 and 8–1 to win the series.
Henderson 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.
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 January 12, 2009.
- McGuire, Justin (December 27, 2015). "Dave Henderson, 1986 ALCS hero for Red Sox, dies at 57". sportingnews.com. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
- "Former Mariners outfielder and broadcaster Dave Henderson passes away at age 57". Seattle Times.com. Retrieved December 27, 2015.