ESPN is reporting that Rickey Henderson has announced his retirement.

All kidding aside, Rickey is a sure-thing, first ballot Hall Of Famer. In his prime, Henderson’s ability to take over a game was uncanny, as the Blue Jays witnessed up close in the ’89 ALCS. Wrote Bill James, “without exaggerating one inch, you could find fifty Hall of Famers who, all taken together, don’t own as many records, and as many important records, as Rickey Henderson.”

I won’t say he’ll be missed, because unless you’ve seen his recent exploits with indie teams in Newark and San Diego, we’ve had a couple of years to get used to life without Rickey. But I’m hopeful that if he’s finally ready to hang up the spikes, some big league club with a leadoff hitter that has trouble drawing walks (sound like anyone you know?) might invite Rickey to spring training as an instructor. And of course, to give lots of interviews.