Few names in the history of baseball evoke the excellence and dynamism that Rickey Henderson’s does. He holds the record for the most stolen bases in a single game, and he’s scored more runs than any player ever. “If you cut Rickey Henderson in half, you’d have two Hall of Famers,” the baseball historian Bill James once said.
But perhaps even more than his prowess on the field, Rickey Henderson’s is a story of Oakland, California, the town that gave rise to so many legendary athletes like him. And it’s a story of a sea change in sports, when athletes gained celebrity status and Black players finally earned equitable salaries. Henderson embraced this shift with his trademark style, playing for nine different teams throughout his decades-long career and sculpting a brash, larger-than-life persona that stole the nation’s heart. Now, in the hands of critically acclaimed sportswriter and culture critic Howard Bryant, one of baseball’s greatest and most original stars finally gets his due.
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