Dave Henderson has passed away

glasspusher

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RIP Hendu. Your "help" with the ball over the fence (Grich's HR in the bottom of the 6th) set up the 9th inning heroics, but damn, what an amazing game. First time I got to enjoy a sox postseason since hopping on board in 1978 from behind enemy lines in NJ.
I was watching alone (OK, with my dog) and thinking in the 9th "damn, they never got to show how good they were in this series..". Then they did. It ain't over 'til it's over. That's why this is the best game there is.
 

MtPleasant Paul

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I think he IS the first player from the 1986 team to pass away.

One of the really bad Red Sox trades - among many bad ones - in my lifetime when they gave him away. His departure was obscured by the emergence of Ellis Burks and Mike Greenwell at the same time, but those good Red Sox teams of the late 80's and early 90's could have used him.
 

RG33

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Wasn't there a stylized version of that home run celebration/trot used in the intro video for games on TV-38 in following years? I am remembering neon outlines. I loved Hendu as an 8 year old in 1986 and long believed he had been a star on that team after coming over from Seattle with Owen. Boy was I surprised to read his B-R page and see he had a .540 OPS for that team - Game 5 made him a hero nonetheless.

Edit: the video I am thinking of was from the 1986 video yearbook, but I am pretty sure it was also re-used on tv. Or else I just watched that video 100 times in 1987 (or possibly both):

Man, I loved the first 50 minutes of this video. I also watched it about 1000 times as a kid. The music is awesome, the narration incredible, the graphics. . . . . . The "stalwart Sammy Stewart. . . . .perrennial workhorse, Bob Stanley". . . . . So great. I just watched the whole thing. . . . Peyton has already hired Ari Fleishcher. Family and Denver Broncos already issued a statement denying. Peyton doing a live interview with ESPN. All within 12 hours of this thing coming out. . . . . Hmmmmmm. . . . . . Up until the WS, the way I would watch it 30 years ago.

Hendu's HR was the best thing that had happened in my life at that point.
 

HriniakPosterChild

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That's an understatement. I was a Sox fan before, but if there's one game that hooked me for life, that was it. I had a few school activities that day and I remember following it on TV or radio at three or four different places. I still remember a friend walking into the room early in the game, hearing the TV, and saying "they're not supposed to be cheering".
I remember Al Michaels making the comment in late innings: "If you just tuned in, too bad!"
 

mt8thsw9th

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Marc Sullivan was available to pinch hit off the bench in game 6 of the 1986 WS? Tell me again why I would root for such an organization!?!?
This is kind of a weird strawman. Every team carries a backup catcher. They certainly could have done better in the backup department, but he wasn't there to pinch hit. By your logic, had the 2008 Red Sox won the LCS, they would have had Kevin Cash "available to pinch hit off the bench", he of the nearly identical lifetime OPS+.
 

Hendu At The Wall

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RIP Hendu. Your "help" with the ball over the fence (Grich's HR in the bottom of the 6th) set up the 9th inning heroics, but damn, what an amazing game.
That Grich HR is the moment I became a baseball fan, and the origin of my user name. It was a type of initiation to Red Sox fandom, and the use of instant replay showing Hendu carrying the ball over the wall ushered in a new era of televised baseball.

The headline in the Globe the next day was "Henderson Can Gloat, But Almost Was Goat".

If Buckner doesn't get on base to start the 9th, so many lives turn out differently.

In addition to the Game 5 heroics in the ALCS, I will always remember the way he caught the deep fly in Shea for the second out in the bottom of the 9th in the 6th game of the World Series, excitedly pitching it back in to the infield, one out away.
 

BuellMiller

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This is kind of a weird strawman. Every team carries a backup catcher. They certainly could have done better in the backup department, but he wasn't there to pinch hit. By your logic, had the 2008 Red Sox won the LCS, they would have had Kevin Cash "available to pinch hit off the bench", he of the nearly identical lifetime OPS+.
(edited, sorry, re-read your post, thought you didn't get the Sullivan reference. Case of the mondays...i'll go back to lurking)
 

glasspusher

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This is kind of a weird strawman. Every team carries a backup catcher. They certainly could have done better in the backup department, but he wasn't there to pinch hit. By your logic, had the 2008 Red Sox won the LCS, they would have had Kevin Cash "available to pinch hit off the bench", he of the nearly identical lifetime OPS+.
My main point is he wouldn't have been there if his old man wasn't one of the principals of the club.
 

Coachster

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In August of '86 I moved from Southern California to New Hampshire. I had grown up as an Angels fan. 1986 was going to be the Angel's year. When Hendu hit the bomb off Moore, I was on a scaffold painting the second story of the house we had just bought, listening on the radio. It broke my heart, and I figured if I was going to live in New England, I might as well become a Sox fan.

Thanks, Hendu.
 

bosockboy

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Few other thoughts, I remember Baylor's HR was also on an awkward reach type swing.

And mildly off topic, but I think the Sox have played in 4-5 of the top ten games at least of the last 50-60 years. This one for sure, 1975 Game 6, 2003 Game 7, 2004 Game 5, they have really been in some classics.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Few other thoughts, I remember Baylor's HR was also on an awkward reach type swing.

And mildly off topic, but I think the Sox have played in 4-5 of the top ten games at least of the last 50-60 years. This one for sure, 1975 Game 6, 2003 Game 7, 2004 Game 5, they have really been in some classics.
MLB Network agrees with you. They did their 20 greatest games series a couple years ago (presumably of the televised era, maybe just the last 40 years or so) and the Sox were involved in six of them:
#17 2004 ALCS Game 4 (Roberts steal)
#11 1978 Game 163 (Dent)
#8 1986 ALCS Game 5 (Hendu)
#6 2003 ALCS Game 7 (Boone)
#3 1986 WS Game 6 (Buckner)
#1 1975 WS Game 6 (Fisk)
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I had the pleasure of meeting Hendu at Red Sox Fantasy Camp in 2012 and he couldn't have been a nicer, funnier, more engaging guy. He had a locker right next to mine and would regale crowds of us with hilarious (and often off-color) stories of his playing days and beyond. He was a huge reason my fantasy camp experience was so incredible.

I even got to pitch to him, on the final day of the camp. He had the good grace not to hit one 600 feet off of me. He only hit it about 420 feet.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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I was at that game, in Anaheim, in 1986. Wasn't exactly a hostile environment -- stadium was maybe 3/4 full and most of the Angels fans there were blue-haired old ladies on field trips from any number of local eldercare facilities. But it was a rough few days in SoCal and I felt miserable before Hendu's blast.

While I didn't see it live, I did watch Michaels' broadcast later on and it was just tremendous. I'm 99% certain he cited the game as trailing only the Miracle on Ice as his best call ever -- I think he sold it short.

I've cited this story here before -- a friend of mine got married on the same day as Game #5 of the ALCS. [Fortunately we weren't so close back then, so I could roadtrip to Anaheim!] While he was on the altar saying his vows, a bunch of our college friends were in the congregation listening to the game with earphones on their radios. Almost simultaneously with end of the ceremony, Hendu hit that homer -- my friends sprinted out of the church to a room set up in the church basement with a big screen TV to watch the rest of the game. As soon as he marched up the aisle with his new bride, my buddy Pat kept on going himself to join the guys at the TV. Kathleen was not pleased. They had their very first fight right there in the room with the TV, probably right around the time Brian Downing made that ridiculous catch off Ed Romero's drive.

It didn't last.

R.I.P. Hendu. I'm sure you're up in heaven playfully shaking your ass for those of us down on earth to look up at, just like those days in the centerfield bleachers.
 

Yaz4Ever

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I was at that game, in Anaheim, in 1986. Wasn't exactly a hostile environment -- stadium was maybe 3/4 full and most of the Angels fans there were blue-haired old ladies on field trips from any number of local eldercare facilities. But it was a rough few days in SoCal and I felt miserable before Hendu's blast.

While I didn't see it live, I did watch Michaels' broadcast later on and it was just tremendous. I'm 99% certain he cited the game as trailing only the Miracle on Ice as his best call ever -- I think he sold it short.

I've cited this story here before -- a friend of mine got married on the same day as Game #5 of the ALCS. [Fortunately we weren't so close back then, so I could roadtrip to Anaheim!] While he was on the altar saying his vows, a bunch of our college friends were in the congregation listening to the game with earphones on their radios. Almost simultaneously with end of the ceremony, Hendu hit that homer -- my friends sprinted out of the church to a room set up in the church basement with a big screen TV to watch the rest of the game. As soon as he marched up the aisle with his new bride, my buddy Pat kept on going himself to join the guys at the TV. Kathleen was not pleased. They had their very first fight right there in the room with the TV, probably right around the time Brian Downing made that ridiculous catch off Ed Romero's drive.

It didn't last.

R.I.P. Hendu. I'm sure you're up in heaven playfully shaking your ass for those of us down on earth to look up at, just like those days in the centerfield bleachers.
I was at the game as well. Centerfield bleachers.

Very saddened to hear of his passing. A truly contagious smile and, by all accounts I've read/heard, a genuinely good guy.
 

Stu Nahan

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Very sad news. His homer in game 5 is one of my happiest moments as a Sox fan. As many have pointed out, his heroics in game 6 unfortunately got overshadowed by the end of the game. RIP, Hendu.
 

hurst86mvp

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This hurts.

Saw the immortal ALCS game in real time. Pops, a long-suffering Boston-born Sox fan, had seen this movie before (and would see it again in a fashion even his father wouldn't fathom), and got up to fire up the grill for dinner before the epic 9th inning. I kept the faith, but didn't call him inside until Baylor hit his blast. After that I said "You better get in here!" but, being an adult, and having seen this movie before, he was skeptical. I don't think many fans can truly appreciate the real roller-coaster sports is capable of taking you on, but hardcore Sox fans, especially those of us who were around, then, "get" it like few others can. I mean, to go from the high of Hendu's impossible shot to the ball dribbling between Buckner's legs is like a lifetime of emotional extremes in two moments, only weeks apart. (Not to mention history repeating itself as Farce-turned-Miracle, a la '03/'04.)

And as sorry as I felt for myself, for my father, for Sox fans, for the unfairly maligned Bill Buckner, and (ahem) would-be-MVP Hurst, I thought, even as a teenager: Holy shit, how do you go from hitting 2 of the 3 biggest HRs in Sox history and come THAT close only to have it ripped away from you. Hero for life, highlight reel for eternity, etc. It was enough to make a 16 year old think God was not only a sadistic son of a bitch, but a Yankee fan (the horror). I felt genuinely bad for Hendu, who deserved better. And someone else said something similar upthread, but while I detested those A's teams in the late '80s, I simply couldn't hate Henderson. Wasn't possible. I was happy he got his ring. And yes, I imitated that inimitable HR trot for many moons after.

RIP, Hendu.
 

Al Zarilla

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My story around that game isn't dramatic at all. My wife wanted to go food shopping that day, the Red Sox fell behind and I kept saying one more Sox at bat. I made it until the 9th and then there was no way I was leaving until it was all over. Probably had hot dogs. Probably tasted great. RIP Hendu.
 

CR67dream

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Oh man, I'm just crushed. SJH, so glad you had that experience, if it couldn't be me, I'm glad it was you. Hendu was singularly responsible for 19-year-old me being able to keep the faith for as long as it took to reach the promised land, 18 years later.
And what a great human being he was, too. Literally a crying shame. RIP, Hendu.
 

Cumberland Blues

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Yeah...this is an absolute kick in the nuts. I've watched that HR about 253 times today. His OPS was nearly .200 points higher in the postseason than his regular season mark - SSS for sure, but damn - he seemed to love the spotlight.
 

Rasputin

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I turned the game off and went into the kitchen, then decided there was no way in hell I was going to have that much fun in a season and not watch the last out. When I turned the TV back on, Hendu is in mid swing.
 

HriniakPosterChild

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A great remembrance from the Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone:

I first met Henderson in 1986 when I took over the Mariners’ beat for The Journal-American, a newspaper in Bellevue. He was a delight to cover, a playful personality and an insightful interview subject who took pity in the nervous kid feeling his way around a major-league clubhouse.

We both landed in the Bay Area the next year, me to cover the Giants and A’s, and Henderson traded from Boston to San Francisco on Sept. 1, 1987. Hendu arrived thinking he was going to help the division-winning Giants in the postseason, only to find out, much to his chagrin, the deal had been consummated too late for him to be eligible for the playoffs.

He was signed by Oakland the next spring, and it was the perfect match right from the start. That was the most charismatic team I ever covered, and Hendu was right in the center of all the madness. The fans absolutely loved him, forming two separate fan clubs in the bleachers — “Hendu’s Bad Boy Club” and “Henduland.”

He interacted happily with all of them, even — or especially — in the middle of games. As he often said, there’s only brief flashes of action in a baseball game, and he was intensely invested in those. But in the down time — well, why not have a little fun?
 

joe dokes

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I've recommended this book before, and this seems like another appropriate place to do so. The segments on the Henderson home run game -- and, especially, the tragic impact on Donnie Moore -- are incredible reporting and writing.

Also, if you can get hold of Roger Angell's end-of-season baseball opus from '86, it has a great recap of that entire day. I, like Angell, was watching the Sox game in NYC, waited as long as I could to get in the car to drive to Shea for that night's NLCS playoff game vs Houston, listened to the excruciating extras in the car (Steve Crawford's "If there had been a bathroom on the mound I would have used it" moment) and parked on the exit ramp from the Grand Central Parkway(?).
 

In my lifetime

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MLB Network agrees with you. They did their 20 greatest games series a couple years ago (presumably of the televised era, maybe just the last 40 years or so) and the Sox were involved in six of them:
#17 2004 ALCS Game 4 (Roberts steal)
#11 1978 Game 163 (Dent)
#8 1986 ALCS Game 5 (Hendu)
#6 2003 ALCS Game 7 (Boone)
#3 1986 WS Game 6 (Buckner)
#1 1975 WS Game 6 (Fisk)
I consider it one of the highlights of a very blessed life that I was in attendance in 4 of the 6 games. For 3 generations of Red Sox fans, what has made championships so special and galvanized the fan base is the heart break that preceeded the championships.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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MLB Network agrees with you. They did their 20 greatest games series a couple years ago (presumably of the televised era, maybe just the last 40 years or so) and the Sox were involved in six of them:
#17 2004 ALCS Game 4 (Roberts steal)
#11 1978 Game 163 (Dent)
#8 1986 ALCS Game 5 (Hendu)
#6 2003 ALCS Game 7 (Boone)
#3 1986 WS Game 6 (Buckner)
#1 1975 WS Game 6 (Fisk)
I consider it one of the highlights of a very blessed life that I was in attendance in 4 of the 6 games. For 3 generations of Red Sox fans, what has made championships so special and galvanized the fan base is the heart break that preceeded the championships.
I went to four of these games. Unfortunately that included #2, #4, and #5 on this list. Thank God for Hendu or I'd never get out of bed.

Edit: by "#2, #4, and #5", I mean #3, #6, and #11 -- but you knew that.
 
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Otis Foster

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I was at #1, 3rd base grandstand midway.

Utterly surreal from the Carbo HR on, but I won't digress in the midst of a tribute to Hendu, may he rest peacefully.