Rickey Henderson, (Baseball player)
The manager of the Texas Rangers once said that Ricky Henderson was "the type of guy who keeps pitchers awake all night the night before they're going to pitch..." Considered by many to be the best leadoff batter in the history of baseball, Rickey Henderson possesses amazing speed, the ability to hit both for power and a high average, and has a sharp batting eye. Throughout his career, Henderson's childlike personality as attracted almost as much attention as his athletic skills. He (not unlike Willie Mays and Babe Ruth) likes children and has been known talk with young spectators, before, after, and sometimes even during games. He's actually scanned the playing field and dugout during batting practice searching for broken bats that he could give to children as souvenirs.
On Christmas Day in 1958, Bobbie Henderson gave birth to Rickey in Chicago, Illinois. His father, a truck driver, abandoned the family a few months later, leaving Rickey's mother, a nurse, to care for the couple's eight children. Shortly after Rickey's father abandoned the family, Bobbie took all the children to live with her mother in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. When Rickey was seven, she moved the family again, this time to Oakland California. "Mom worked hard and my grandparents helped out a lot. I never remember having to do without." Rickey began playing baseball at the age of eight, and quickly became a local phenomenon. When he wasn't playing ball, he could be found at the Oakland, Coliseum, watching the A's then star outfielder, Reggie Jackson, his first idol.