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Sunday, May 2, 2004
Henderson, 45, played with Bears last year

Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. -- Rickey Henderson is back in baseball.

The 45-year-old outfielder re-signed Sunday with the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League, where he played last season before returning to the majors.

Henderson has the most runs (2,295), stolen bases (1,406) and walks (2,190) in major league history. The likely Hall of Famer excelled during 56 games with Newark last year, then joined the Los Angeles Dodgers in July.

He played in 30 games with the Dodgers, his ninth big league team, and batted .208 with two homers, five RBI and three steals.

Henderson is expected to join the Bears on Wednesday and be ready for their season opener Thursday at home against the Long Island Ducks.

"The Newark Bears are a premier organization, and I will always appreciate that they allowed me to showcase my skills last season, giving me the chance to return to the majors with the Dodgers," Henderson said in a statement released by the team.

Henderson hit .339 with eight homers, 33 RBIs, 52 runs and nine stolen bases with the Bears last season. The 10-time major league All-Star was named MVP of the Atlantic League All-Star game.

Considered the greatest leadoff hitter in history, Henderson has 3,055 hits, 1,115 RBI and 297 home runs during his 25-year major league career.

He was the 1990 AL MVP and has played in three World Series, winning championships with Oakland in 1989 and Toronto in '93.