All Henderson did was play 25 years, collect 3,055 hits, score 2,295 runs and steal 1,406 bases. He had a career OBP of .401, played in 14 postseasons and helped win two World Series. He was a Yankee from 1985-89 but will surely be inducted as a member of the Oakland Athletics.
Meanwhile, Red Sox slugger Jim Ed Rice joined Henderson in the class of 2009. Nobody else was elected. Rice received 412 votes, or 76.4 percent. Players needed 75 percent.
Here is the release from the BBWAA with the vote totals.
UPDATE, 2:04 p.m.: Here is the voting:
Rickey Henderson 511 (94.8%); Jim Rice 412 (76.4%); Andre Dawson 361 (67.0%); Bert Blyleven 338 (62.7%); Lee Smith 240 (44.5%); Jack Morris 237 (44.0%); Tommy John 171 (31.7%); Tim Raines 122 (22.6%); Mark McGwire 118 (21.9%); Alan Trammell 94 (17.4%); Dave Parker 81 (15.0%); Don Mattingly 64 (11.9%); Dale Murphy 62 (11.5%); Harold Baines 32 (5.9%); Mark Grace 22 (4.1%); David Cone 21 (3.9%); Matt Williams 7 (1.3%); Mo Vaughn 6 (1.1%); Jay Bell 2 (0.4%); Jesse Orosco 1 (0.2%); Ron Gant 0; Dan Plesac 0; Greg Vaughn 0.
UPDATE, 2:07 p.m.: Players remain on the ballot for up to 15 years provided they receive at least five percent of the vote. Players who will return to the ballot next year are Dawson, Blyleven, Smith, Morris, Raines, McGwire, Trammell, Parker, Mattingly, Murphy and Baines.
UPDATE, 2:09 p.m.: I would think that Tim Raines receiving only 22.6 percent (down from last season’s 24.3 percent) would not go over well with those who are statistically inclined. Raines could well be the second-best leadoff hitter ever.
Bert Blyleven’s candidacy has become a hot topic in the internets. He has gone from 53.3 percent in 2006 to 62.7 percent this season. But that’s still a long way from 75 percent.
Mark McGwire dropped a few points this season. Mattingly, meanwhile, remains in the teens.
UPDATE, 2:22 p.m.: For what it’s worth, I once asked Ron Guidry whether he thought Rice should be in the Hall of Fame and he looked at me like I was crazy. “Of course he should be,” Guidry said. “Guy scared the crap out of every pitcher in the league.”
So there’s that. But you can make a good case for or against Rice.