Rickey Henderson is a retired professional baseball player who has a net worth of $20 million. During his MLB career Rickey played for multiple teams between 1979 and 2003. He is widely considered to be the greatest leadoff hitter and baserunner in the sport’s history. Rickey holds MLB records for runs, stolen bases, leadoff homers, and unintentional walks. During his career, Henderson won World Series titles with the Oakland Athletics and the Toronto Blue Jays. When a baseball statistician was asked if he thought Henderson would make it into the Hall of Fame, he replied, “If you could split him in two, you’d have two Hall of Famers.”
During his playing career, Rickey Henderson earned $44 million in salary alone. He earned an additional $10 million from endorsements. Rickey’s peak salary was in 1994 when the A’s paid him $4.5 million. That’s the same as making around $9 million per year in today’s dollars.
Un-cashed Million Dollar Check
One of the funniest and most-legendary stories about Rickey involves what he did with his first major MLB paycheck.
Prior the 1982 season, Rickey was earning the league minimum $185,000, (equal to roughly $500,000 today). Thanks to his impressive performance up to that point, the A’s gave Rickey a huge contract. In the next season his salary would jump to $535,000 (roughly $1.4 million today), followed by $950,000 ($2.5 million today). Most importantly, they also gave him a $1 million signing bonus (roughly $3 million today).
A few months went by and one day a lowly accountant could not figure out why the team’s books were off by one million dollars. The discovery of this discrepancy set off a massive investigation until someone finally figured out that the $1 million was related to a single check. A check that had been written to Rickey Henderson more than four months earlier.
When the accounting department called Rickey called him if he still had the check. His answer:
“Ya I have it! I’m staring at right now. It’s still in the frame.”
They had to tell Rickey that you can’t just frame a check. You need to actually deposit it into your bank account. He had no idea.
Rickey Henderson was born as Rickey Nelson Henley on Christmas Day, 1958 in Chicago, Illinois to Bobbie and John. When he was two years of age, his father left the family; five years later, he moved with his mother to Oakland, California. There, Henderson began playing baseball, and developed the relatively unique ability to throw left-handed while batting right. As a teen, he went to Oakland Technical High School, where he played baseball as well as basketball and football. During Henderson’s junior year, his mother got remarried to Paul Henderson, whose surname they adopted.
Career Beginnings in the Minors
In the 1976 MLB draft, Henderson was drafted in the fourth round by the Oakland Athletics. He spent the inaugural season of his minor league career playing with the Northwest League’s Boise A’s. Subsequently, Henderson joined the Modesto A’s, and had a record-setting season. The following year, he played with the Eastern League’s Jersey City A’s. Henderson went on to play with the Mexican Pacific League’s Navojoa Mayos and the Pacific Coast League’s Ogden A’s.
First Tenure with the Oakland Athletics
Henderson made his debut in the majors in 1979 with Oakland. The following year, he began proving just how much of a force he really was, as he became only the third player in modern MLB history to steal 100 bases in a single season. In 1981, he earned his first and only Gold Glove Award for his incredible fielding. More success followed the next year, as Henderson broke Lou Brock’s single-season record by stealing 130 bases. He went on to record his third season of 100+ runs, 100+ stolen bases, and 100+ walks in 1983, which no modern player has even done in a single season.
New York Yankees
In 1984, Henderson was traded to the New York Yankees. His first season with the team was a resounding success; he led the league in runs scored and stolen bases, and hit 24 homers. Henderson went on the next season to again lead the AL in runs scored and stolen bases. Following a somewhat disappointing season in 1987, he bounced back in 1988 to lead the AL in steals once again, with 93. Over his relatively short four-and-a-half-season tenure with the Yankees, Henderson set a then-franchise record with 326 stolen bases.
Return to the Oakland Athletics
Henderson was traded back to Oakland in 1989 during the midseason, and immediately reasserted himself as one of the top players in baseball. Thanks to his record eight steals in just five games, he was named the MVP of the ALCS. The Athletics went on to reach the World Series, which they won in a four-game sweep over the San Francisco Giants. Henderson and the team reached the World Series again in 1990, but ended up falling to the Cincinnati Reds.
Toronto Blue Jays
In the summer of 1993, Henderson was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. Although his performance with the team was disappointing, the Jays still made it to the ALCS and the World Series. In the latter, Henderson was involved in the final play that clinched the Jays the World Series title.
Final Decade of Playing
Following his World Series victory with Toronto, Henderson re-signed with Oakland as a free agent. On the team in 1994 and 1995, he finished in the top ten in the league in steals, walks, and on-base percentage. In 1996, Henderson signed with the San Diego Padres, and again finished in the top ten in the league in steals, walks, and on-base percentage, as well as runs. The next year, he was traded to the Anaheim Angels, and had an unremarkable season. Henderson then returned to Oakland for his fourth stint in 1998, and ended up leading the majors in stolen bases. The next year, he signed as a free agent with the New York Mets, and made it to the NLCS, which the Mets ultimately lost.
Released from the Mets in 2000, Henderson signed as a free agent with the Seattle Mariners. In his second game with the team, he hit a leadoff homer, making him only the third player to hit a home run in four different decades. In 2001, Henderson returned to the Padres, and subsequently broke three major league records: career walks, career runs, and career games in left field. He went on to sign as a free agent with the Boston Red Sox in 2002. After only playing briefly for the team, he played with the Atlantic League’s Newark Bears, and then signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Henderson played his final major league game in September of 2003 with the Dodgers, and then returned to the Newark Bears. He later signed with the Golden Baseball League’s San Diego Surf Dawgs. In 2007, Henderson announced his retirement.
In 1983, Henderson wed his high-school sweetheart Pamela. Together, they have three daughters named Angela, Alexis, and Adrianna.
|Net Worth:||$20 Million|
|Date of Birth:||Dec 25, 1958 (63 years old)|
|Height:||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Profession:||Baseball player, Coach|
|Nationality:||United States of America|