On the diamond, new Hall of Famer sparkled as a stealer

More than any other player in baseball history, Rickey Henderson mastered the fine art of stealing bases. That, plus his longevity in the big leagues (25 seasons with nine teams), his outfielding skills, and his impressive power for a leadoff hitter (873 extra-base hits, 297 of them home runs) made him, this week, only the 44th player voted into the sport's Hall of Fame in his first year on the ballot. (A player must be retired five years to be eligible.) In one incredible season, 1982, playing for the Oakland A's, he set a major league record with 130 steals. By comparison, last year Colorado's Willy Taveras led the majors with 68 steals. Henderson is also the game's overall king of the base paths, and there are expert analysts of the game who think his lifetime record may never be broken. Baseball's top 10 career base-stealers, their totals, and years in the majors:

– Baseball Almanac,

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