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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Henderson sets all-time base stealing record
By Larry Schwartz
Special to ESPN.com
May 1, 1991
Rickey Henderson started the season needing only three steals to pass Lou Brock as the all-time leader. But Henderson got off to a slow start; he was picked off three times, caught stealing on four of six attempts (including once today) and spent time on the disabled list.
With Brock in today's crowd in Oakland, Henderson takes his lead off second base against Yankees pitcher Tim Leary in the fourth inning and swipes third, his belly flop easily beating catcher Matt Nokes' throw. It is his 939th theft in 13 seasons, compared to Brock's 938 in 18. "I said to myself, 'It's all over,'" Henderson says later. "I'm No. 1 now."
The game is stopped for a ceremony in which Henderson is presented with the base, a statuette of himself, a plaque for his mother and, after the game, a Porsche 911. Rickey's speech to the crowd is long on emotion and short on modesty.
"Lou Brock certainly was a symbol of great base stealing," the Athletics left-fielder says, "but today I am the greatest of all time."
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