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Quote of the Day: Rickey’s Hall of Fame speech

Rickey Henderson, on how he got started playing baseball:

When I was a kid in Oakland, Mr. Hank Thomas tricked me into playing Babe Ruth baseball by coming to pick me up with a glazed doughnut and a cup of hot chocolate. That was how he got me up and out of bed and to the ballpark.

My first year in high school, my favorite sport was football. I didn’t like baseball. But my counselor, Mrs. Wilkerson, bribed me into playing baseball. She would pay me a quarter every time I would get a hit, score a run or steal a base. After my first 10 games, I had 30 hits, 25 runs scored and 33 steals. Not bad money for a kid in high school!

While his Hall of Fame induction speech wasn’t exactly polished you could tell that Henderson put a lot of time and effort into both the content and delivery, and he delighted the Cooperstown crowd with a very entertaining talk that included plenty of laughs, many heartfelt thank yous, and even some gentle ribbing at Reggie Jackson.