Howard Bryant on the legendary Rickey Henderson : Bullseye with Jesse Thorn Sports writer Howard Bryant talks to Bullseye about the legacy of baseball great Rickey Henderson, and his new book Rickey: The Life and Legend of an American Original. In telling the story of Rickey, Bryant dives into the history of baseball: how players began to realize their true monetary value, and how Black players came to assert themselves as stars in the game.

Howard Bryant on baseball legend Rickey Henderson

Howard Bryant on baseball legend Rickey Henderson

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OAKLAND, CA - JULY 22: Former Oakland Athletics outfielder Rickey Henderson throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the game against the San Francisco Giants at the Oakland Coliseum on July 22, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) Jason O. Watson/Getty Images hide caption

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Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 22: Former Oakland Athletics outfielder Rickey Henderson throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the game against the San Francisco Giants at the Oakland Coliseum on July 22, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Howard Bryant is an author, sports correspondent for NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday and a senior writer for ESPN. In his new book, Rickey: The Life and Legend of an American Original, he looks at how Rickey Henderson's Oakland roots helped shape him into one of the greatest to ever play baseball.

Howard Bryant's new book Rickey: The Life and Legend of an American Original HarperCollins Publishing hide caption

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HarperCollins Publishing

In a professional career that spanned almost 25 years, Rickey played 12 of them for the Oakland Athletics in 4 stints. He was one of the best leadoff hitters in the game, and he's scored more runs than any player ever. Rickey earned the nickname "Man of Steal" due to his record for stolen bases at a nearly unbeatable 1406. In 2009, he was inducted to the Baseball hall of Fame.

His dynamic hitting and run totals made him famous, but his personality and passion made him legendary. Rickey was known for being comedic and eccentric, which made him endlessly quotable and beloved by fans.

In telling the story of Rickey, Bryant also tells a story about the history of baseball: how players began to realize their true monetary value, and how Black players came to assert themselves as stars in the game.