On May 1, 1991 — 24-years-ago today — Rickey Henderson passed Lou Brock for the all-time stolen base record.
Records are broken all the time, but any stolen base record is a little different in practice, at that particular moment. The stolen base requires the element of surprise, you see, so when someone is at a milestone moment in stolen bases you know damn well he’s got a bit of an extra incentive to go. You know it’s coming and he knows you know it’s coming, yet you play that game anyway.
Such was the case with Rickey Henderson on that day in 1991, as this video of the event shows. Yet, despite the fact that everyone knew Rickey was going, he still got a huge jump and it wasn’t even close:
Fun fact about Rickey and stolen bases: he stole 467 bases AFTER breaking Lou Brock’s record. If you just took his post-record stolen bases, he’d rank 46th on the all-time list, ahead of guys like Bobby Bonds, Ichiro, Jose Reyes, Carl Crawford and Roberto Alomar.
Of course Rickey wasn’t just stolen bases. He got on base and scored runs better than almost everyone in history. He hit for power. He played great defense when he was younger. Indeed, no player gets overlooked more than Rickey Henderson when it comes to the Greatest Living Ballplayer conversation. I still think it’s Willie Mays right now with Hank Aaron likely second. Your mileage may vary on Bonds depending on what you think of him, obviously. But if Rickey Henderson isn’t on your short list, I don’t wanna know you.
Another fan was struck by a line drive foul ball during Sunday’s game between the Rockies and Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Mike DiGiovanna and Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times report. The ball was hit by Cody Bellinger in the first inning, going just beyond where the protective netting ends at the first-base dugout, striking a young woman in the head. Play was delayed for two minutes while the woman received medical attention. She initially stayed in her seat holding an ice pack to her head but was taken to a hospital for evaluation. According to someone in the Dodger Stadium first-aid office, the girl was alert and responding.
After the game, Bellinger said, “It was weird. It’s the first time I think I’ve hit a fan. I saw it literally hit her face. That was tough. I just tried to regroup. I’m sure it was tough for everyone.” He added, “I went over the next half-inning just to make sure she was all right. She said she was all right. She gave me a thumbs up. Obviously, it’s a scary situation.”
Both Bellinger and manager Dave Roberts expressed support for extending the protective netting at Dodger Stadium.
Bellinger was involved in yet another incident involving a fan later in the game. According to Michael Duarte of NBC Los Angeles, a 14-year-old girl ran on the field in the ninth inning. Bellinger said the girl came up to him and said, “I want a hug.” As she hugged Bellinger, a security guard tackled her. Bellinger said to her, “You know you’re going to jail?” She replied, “Yeah, I know. It was worth it.”