When Ryne Sandberg and Wade Boggs give their induction speeches today, future Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson will not be watching. He’s got a game.
The 46-year-old outfielder will not be playing where he thinks he belongs ” in the major leagues ” but in an independent league game in Yuma, Ariz., for the San Diego Surf Dawgs.
Henderson believes he still has what it takes to play in the big leagues, but no one has shown interest since he finished the 2003 season with the Dodgers.
“I would love to play anywhere,” the all-time steals leader said. “I think my skills are there. To me, it’s just the chance. Why can’t I have a chance? I see [the current] players and what [teams] need, and you’re saying I don’t have none of that? That shocks me. Then I’m not a Hall of Famer. I should have never played the game.”
Henderson (above) believes it’s his status as a surefire Hall of Famer that is holding him back. The former Yankee and Met thinks someone in baseball does not want to delay his induction. Players are eligible to be inducted five years after their final major league game, meaning Henderson could be inducted in 2008.
“I don’t know why, unless I’ve done too much in the game,” Henderson said, when asked why he believes he is not on the big leagues’ radar. “Most people say you’re a Hall of Famer and they’ve got a certain date that they want me to go to the Hall of Fame. They feel that if I continue playing it would screw up when I go into the Hall of Fame. I don’t think that’s fair to me.”