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Rickey Henderson as spring training special coach

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  • Rickey Henderson as spring training special coach

    I just thought that this was a very nice article showing a 1st ballot baseball legend sharing his skills with today's younger players who are very interested in receiving such advice. Interestingly, he's even wearing Mays' old #24. Shea Hey!

    James A. Finley/Associated Press

    Rickey Henderson, left, is a special instructor for the Mets at
    spring training. José Reyes, right, is his prime pupil.

    Mets Get Master's in Art of the Steal
    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla., March 25 — With the powerful Florida sun overhead, two men walked slowly down the left-field line before a recent Mets game. The older man did all the talking. The younger man never moved his lips as he nodded.

    Then, they stopped. The older man, Rickey Henderson, put his arm around the shoulders of the younger man, José Reyes. Twenty-five years separates them, and yet not even an envelope would have fit between their hips. With baseballs from batting practice whizzing past, they resumed their cerebral stroll through some of the game's finer points.

    On Tuesday, the Mets welcomed the 47-year-old Henderson as a special instructor for the final days of spring training. He is here primarily to work with young players like Reyes on the art of reaching base and stealing.

    Henderson is perhaps the greatest leadoff hitter in baseball history. During a 25-season career in the majors that ended with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2003, he stole 1,406 bases, a record. A spot at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., surely awaits him.

    Despite such lofty credentials, Henderson did not seem like an obvious candidate to join the coaching ranks. For starters, he aspires to play another season even though he has not fielded any offers since spending the 2005 season with the San Diego Surf Dawgs of the Golden Baseball League. And during his major league career, he battled the perception that he was a self-centered player who ran hard only when it suited him.
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    Rest very peacefully, John “Buck” O'Neil (1911-2006) & Philip Francis “Scooter” Rizzuto (1917-2007)
    THE BROOKLYN DODGERS - 1890 thru 1957
    Montreal Expos 1969 - 2004

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