Just another anecdote that reinforces why baseball is my favorite sport

Joe Gordon was enshrined in Cooperstown today. He died in 1978, at age 63, and for some reason had requested that he not be given a funeral.

His daughter, Judy, gave his acceptance speech today, 21 years after his death, and said:

“We consider Cooperstown and the National Baseball Hall of Fame as his final resting place, a place he’ll be honored forever.”


I saw brief clips from Rickey Henderson’s induction speech, which was surprisingly good. And not in the funny, “refer to himself in third person, insane ego” type of way, but just generally good.

My favorite part was his closing, which was incredible. If you don’t know, one of Rickey Henderson’s most famous moments was shortly after he broke the all-time stolen bases record and said to the entire crowd on a mic, “Today… I am the greatest.” He could get away with that because he was a little bit insane and played his massive ego in a fun and charming way. At the close of his speech he said (paraphrasing from memory a bit), “My favorite hero was Muhammad Ali. Ali said once, ‘I am the greatest,’ and (referencing the earlier moment I mentioned) today… I am… very, very humbled. Thank you.” Just an excellent and fitting close. Perfect, even.

Meanwhile, in Arlington TX, Nolan Ryan had just thrown his 7th no-hitter at the age of 44. To celebrate this amazing accomplishment, Ryan spent the first hour after the game doing his regular post-game ritual of riding a stationary bike. I had never liked Rickey Henderson, but it was this day that solidified it for me.

I think this is an interesting bit of personality. It was this moment that I realized I LOVED Rickey and didn’t like Ryan all that much.