Rickey Henderson Paid a Teammate $25,000 so He Could Wear No. 24 When He Played in Toronto
Hall of Fame player Rickey Henderson left his mark on baseball as one of the best base stealers of all-time. He had a lot of success during his career, and he played for multiple teams.
When Henderson joined the Toronto Blue Jays, he wanted to wear No. 24, but a teammate already had it, so Henderson did what he needed to do to get that number.
Rickey Henderson had a Hall of Fame career
Henderson played a vital part for the Oakland Athletics. The Athletics drafted him in the fourth round of the 1976 MLB draft, and he was one of the top prospects during his time in the minor leagues. He made his MLB debut in 1979, where he batted .274 with 33 stolen bases in 89 games. Henderson was known for his base-stealing abilities during his time in the minors, and once he got to the big leagues, he continued to have success in that area.
In his second season with the Athletics, he stole 100 bases, which broke the franchise record of 81. He also became the third player in modern-era to steal 100 bases in a season. The outfielder continued to have success as a player making multiple All-Star teams as a member of the Athletics, and he also won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award. Henderson had all the tools a baseball player needed to have success in the league.
There was a point in his career where he led the American League in stolen bases for seven consecutive seasons. During that time, the least amount of stolen bases he had in a season was 56. Henderson mastered the art of base stealing, and opponents could not figure out a way to stop him. He was a 12-time AL stolen base leader, and he was a member of two World Series teams.
Rickey Henderson winning his second World Series title with Toronto
Henderson only had one stint with the Toronto Blue Jays, which was in 1993. He started the season off with the Athletics but was traded in July. During his time in Toronto, he did not have his best offensive performance. In 44 games, he only hit .215 while stealing 22 bases. When he was dealing with a fractured bone on his hand, he suffered when a pitch hit him.
Even though his offensive numbers weren’t up to par, the Blue Jays had a lot of success. The team went on to play in the 1993 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Henderson continued to struggle offensively in the playoffs and World Series, but he was a part of the World Series final play. He was on base when Joe Carter hit a walk-off home run to give the team the victory and World Series title.
Rickey Henderson paying a Blue Jays teammate for No. 24
When Henderson first joined the Blue Jays, he noticed that the No. 24 was not available because a teammate already had it. Henderson wore No. 24 with the Athletics before he was traded, and he wanted to keep that same number. So, Henderson decided to bring some money into the picture.
At the time, Turner Ward had No. 24 and Henderson decided that he would pay him $25,000 to wear No. 24. Now, Henderson did play his first nine games with the Blue Jays wearing No. 14, but he switched to No. 24 on August 13, 1993. To some professional athletes, jersey numbers mean a lot, and some are willing to do whatever it takes to get the number they want.