The Fan has to appreciate a ball player who always speaks in the third person. Anyone who has ever interviewed Rickey Henderson got an earful and probably laughed for a few days after. The man was and is hysterical. See here for an example.
Now that's all fine and dandy, but interviews are spur of the moment, at least for the player if not the person conducting the interview. A speech for the Hall of Fame is another thing altogether. That being the case, the Fan would like a crack at writing Rickey's speech for him. Feel free, Mr. Henderson, to use the following:
Rickey would like to thank Major League Baseball for admitting that Rickey was as good as Rickey always knew he was by putting Rickey in the Hall of Fame. It's a great honor for Rickey and Rickey will never forget this moment.
In times like these, it is customary to thank anybody who helped Rickey along the way to being Rickey even though Rickey has been Rickey since Rickey came out of the womb. So Rickey might as well thank Rickey's mother for that because she had to get Rickey out of her womb so he could be Rickey.
Rickey would like to thank Rickey's high school coach because when the high school coach saw what Rickey could do, he said, "Whoah, that Rickey can play." He was right and he just let Rickey play. So Rickey thanks the high school coach.
Rickey would also like to thank Mr. Finley, who owned the Oakland A's. Mr. Finley listened to his scouts who had come to watch Rickey play and they told him, "Whoah, that Rickey can play." Mr. Finley also brought a lot of other good players to play with Rickey and that was nice too. One thing Rickey couldn't figure out though was how those big fellas got to be such big fellas. When Rickey first knew them, they were skinny little guys. Rickey doesn't know how they got to be such big fellas, but Rickey is thankful that they helped Rickey run around the bases so much.
One thing Rickey doesn't want to thank Mr. Finley for was what Mr. Finley wanted to pay Rickey. Rickey was the best, you know? But Mr. Finley didn't want to hear anything about that. "Look at that nice used car, I got you, Rickey. Isn't that nice?" But Rickey didn't want no used car. Rickey is a Cadillac and wanted to be priced like a Cadillac. But Mr. Finley wanted to pay Rickey like some Chevy or something.
Rickey would like to also thank those nice umpires who let Rickey crouch down so Rickey had no strike zone to pitch to. If the umpires had followed the rules, then Rickey wouldn't have walked so much and Rickey liked to walk before he would run and then Rickey would run and run and run.
Rickey would like to take a moment to thank all those guys who batted second behind Rickey. If they hadn't laid off of all of those fat fastballs, then Rickey wouldn't be running free, so Rickey appreciates all those guys who let Rickey run around so much.
And Rickey would certainly like to thank all those pitchers who made it so easy to figure out when they were going to throw to first or to home. Without that, Rickey would be the one confused instead of the pitcher. But those pitchers never learned to change their routines and Rickey would like to thank them for the stolen bases and also for the laughs they provided by sweating and stuff on the mound because Rickey got into their heads cuz they knew what Rickey was going to do but they didn't know how to stop Rickey. Rickey would especially like to thank the knuckleball pitchers and those others who threw junk because then, their catchers had no chance to catch Rickey. Even when those knuckleball guys wanted to stop Rickey, they would throw those fastballs at 65 miles an hour and Rickey would be at second base before the fool behind the plate even caught the ball.
Rickey is also thankful for those pitchers that just let him hit their lazy fastballs out of the park in the first inning. Those guys just wanted to get Rickey out of the way so they could get on with the rest of their day. They knew Rickey was going to score anyway, so they figured they might as well get it over with. So Rickey thanks them too.
Rickey would like to thank Billy Martin because Billy was Rickey's kind of manager. Shoot. When Rickey would get on first base, Billy would start drooling and this icky liquid would start slobbering down his chin because he knew Rickey was going to steal second and then third and Billy would look like some kind of genius when all he was doing was watching Rickey do what Rickey does.
Rickey would like to thank Vince Coleman for being such a lousy player. That fella could run and if he was any kind of player at all, Rickey might have had to steal 150 bases to get his records back. So thanks Vince Coleman. You stunk and that saved Rickey a lot of trouble.
Rickey would like to thank all the cut off men Rickey played with for coming out a few extra steps to catch Rickey's throws. That was mighty nice of those guys.
So in closing, Rickey wants to thank everybody for saying what Rickey knew all along. Rickey was the best and now you nice people have showed everybody what Rickey has always known. And thank you for voting Rickey in the Hall of Fame because now Rickey can finally sign with another team and steal another forty bases. Barry Bonds isn't the only one who hasn't retired. Hey, that's another guy who was awful skinny when Rickey first saw him. How did he get to be such a big fella? Anyway, Rickey thanks you all. Okay. Who's next?