At this rate, Rickey Henderson is going to run out of indepedent baseball leagues. From the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kirk Kenney.
The San Diego Surf Dawgs begin spring training today in Arizona as they prepare for the inaugural season of the Golden Baseball League.
Manager Terry Kennedy has 32 players in camp competing for 24 spots on the Class-A level independent team’s roster, but Kennedy already has found a good candidate to bat leadoff: Rickey Henderson.
The future Hall of Famer has signed a contract to play for the Surf Dawgs this season. Henderson will earn the league maximum of $3,000 per month, but it is a marketing agreement with the GBL that will prove most lucrative to the 46-year-old outfielder.
One of the first special events: Rickey Henderson bobblehead night, of course.
“He creates a buzz,” Kennedy said. “The two-sided thing for us is he will put people in the seats, and he can still play a little bit.
“When I spoke to him I said, ‘Are you in shape?’ and he said, ‘You know I am.’ Who else has that kind of body at age 46? It’s something that I can’t fathom because I was pretty sore by the time I was in my mid-30s and he’s laid his body on the ground a lot more than I did.”
Kennedy, whose 14-year major league career included six seasons catching for the Padres, chuckled at the thought of managing a player who is just two years younger than he is.
“He still just wants to play,” Kennedy said. “I think he wants to be the first one to hit a home run, cross home plate and collect his salary check, pension and social security all at the same time.”