Rickey Henderson's stint in the minors, no matter how long it lasts, will have no effect on his Hall of Fame eligibility, meaning baseball's all-time steals and runs leader will remain on pace for induction in 2008.
The only way his status would change, says Hall of Fame researcher Brad Horn, is if Henderson appeared in a major league game. Playing in the minors, for an independent or affiliated team, or even appearing on a major league roster does not affect one's Hall of Fame eligibility unless he appears in a game.
Should Henderson pursue another playing opportunity in the majors, Horn said no player has been elected to the Hall of Fame while he was active in any professional league.
Henderson, a 10-time All-Star, has 3,040 hits while playing for eight major league teams. He has scored 2,288 runs, stolen 1,403 bases, and also holds records for walks (2,179) and leadoff home runs (80). He's five homers shy of 300.
-- Wayne Drehs