As a young left handed pitcher, my favorite pro was a crafty verteran with what I assumed was a similar delivery. I actually chose Steve Carlton as my baseball idol before I saw him play, I just admired the statistics on the back of his card. I'd happily swap any of the big rookies, and their more valuable debut cards, to my equally nerdy friends just for a late career action photo of a man who played the way I wanted to.
Rickey Henderson was different. I've never been fast and I'd only bat leadoff if the previous inning ended with our 6th man. We'd have those long debates up in my room about who was the better base stealer, and I'd take anyone over the arrogant swagger of the longtime Oakland A. The better the numbers on the back of Rickey's card, the more I wanted them out of my hands as if each base hit was another burning degree.
When Rickey played his last big league game in 2003, he had the best stats of any leadoff hitter EVER. Baseball loves statistics and in more than 100 years of record keeping history, Rickey is one of the best. Just look :
MOST STOLEN BASES --- CAREER
MOST WALKS------------- CAREER
MOST RUNS SCORED --- CAREER
CAREER HITS - 3055
CAREER HR ---- 297
For those of you who aren't big baseball dorks, those numbers have very special signifigance. Rickey Henderson is one of the greatest players off all time and is a certain first ballot hall of famer.
We've discussed this before. I'm am an absolutely horrible poker player. At Bradoween last weekend there was only one thing EVERYONE could agree on. "G-Rob is the worst player here."
That said, it seems unlikely that I'd find much in common with the best leadoff hitter of all time. But I think Rickey B. Rickey is the best hero a poker novice can have. You want to play poker? Are you a Pro? If not, Rickey is the man for you.
BACK TO THE MINORS
Here's something I found interesting on the BLOG "Nickel and Dimes":
My particular struggle is "where I am at?" as I've stated quite a few times recently. Should I be looking for higher stakes games despite a bankroll that's been stagnant for several months now? I win a little, then lose a little, win a stack or two, then lose it the next night. I feel like I'm chasing my own tail despite learning more about the game...
I think we've all been there. It seems like with all we've studied and learned we should be moving farther, faster than we are. I've read a few books and played more than a few hands of poker, both virtual and virtually illegal. My game has certainly improved and I've taken a few stabs at bigger limits. but I'm not playing for substantially more than I was a long time ago. Why go on?
NOT FOR TV
Like I said, Rickey left the BIG LEAGUES in 2003. But he still plays baseball. I found this quote from some TV station website...
Rickey Henderson, on playing baseball for the Newark Bears at age 45: "God gave me this body, this gift, these skills to play this sport. Until He says, 'Enough,' this is what I'm supoosed to be doing."
That's when he played minor league ball...in Newark. Not many players with the careers...or the money...he has would ever consider such a demeaning downgrade. Perhaps its because he knew another move was coming....San Diego.
IS THIS A JOPKE?
CJ was right. This dope is the commenter of the year :
"U POKER BLOGGERS ARE THE BIGGEST DOUCHE BAG LOSERS. POKER IS A WASTE OF TIME AND NOT COOL ANYMORE. ITS NOT COOL B/C DOUCHE BAGS LIKE YOU TAKE IT SO SERIOSLY. U ALL SHOULD HAVE STUCK TO MAGIC CARDS AND DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS. U ARE ALL GOING TO WAKE UP OUT OF THE FOG OF POKER AND REALIZE U WERE JUST WASTING YOUR LIFE MEANINGLESS UNFULLFILLING LIFE AWAY.
Two things: Firsat, he left this comment on my post, and on Al's. Of all the bloggers in all the world, WE take it too seriously? Wow! Odd Choice. Second, he went on to call AL a fat turd. I'm way fatter than Al. Get your facts straight bub!
It is odd to be criticized for taking a game so seriously. We've all heard it in one form or another.
There are those who consider it "gambling" and despise it as such.
There are those who see it as nothing but a card game, and thus, not worth ANY investment of time.
There are those who think going the extra mile, to write a free blog on the subject, is particularly lame.
They're absolutly right. It's almost as stupid as extending Little League baseball into a full time job.
This year Rickey Henderson is batting .267 as the leadoff hitter in San Diego. He's not eligible for the baseball Hall of Fame until 5 years after he retires, but he refuses to do so. It's true, he still has skills, but more importantly he LOVES to play the game. That's why he's a SURF DAWG.
The Surf Dawgs are in the Golden Baseball League. It's not even Single A minor league ball. It's totally independant of the major league clubs, and there's vitrtually NO chance of any player in the entire league EVER making any impact on the Big Leagues. So why in God's name would Rickey play? This is from the LA Times :
"I don't need anything," said Henderson, before the first of a three-game series against the Long Beach Armada at Blair Field. "Everything I need, I've been blessed to have. The love and the passion has to be there for me to still play the game way down here."
Rickey has no hope of moving up in limits. He's not looking for more fame. The MAXIMUM salary in this league is $3000/month. Rickey used to buff Otis' forehead with $3000, but he loves baseball and he takes it very seriously. Got a problem with that?