Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Rickey Henderson

Hall-of-Famers as Seen Through Player Won-Lost Records: Rickey Henderson

[This article is an updated version of an earlier article which I wrote about Rickey Henderson.]

Rickey Henderson was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, 2009, with 94.8% of the vote.

The first table below presents Rickey Henderson's career as measured by Player won-lost records.

Rickey Henderson
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1979OAK20
89
12.312.30.500-0.2
0.8
11.512.30.483-0.60.3
1980OAK21
158
26.620.40.5662.4
4.2
24.518.80.5662.23.9
1981OAK22
108
17.713.70.5641.6
2.9
19.214.60.5681.93.2
1982OAK23
149
22.119.00.5391.2
2.7
22.718.20.5551.83.4
1983OAK24
145
20.517.40.5411.2
2.6
22.217.00.5672.23.6
1984OAK25
142
22.517.30.5662.1
3.6
21.916.70.5682.13.6
1985NYA26
142
23.015.90.5913.3
4.7
22.815.40.5973.54.9
1986NYA27
153
20.818.50.5301.0
2.4
21.418.20.5401.42.9
1987NYA28
95
13.410.80.5541.1
2.2
13.010.20.5601.22.2
1988NYA29
139
22.516.70.5742.6
4.0
22.917.90.5612.23.7
30
150
22.617.30.5662.1
3.5
22.717.90.5591.83.3
1990OAK31
136
23.814.50.6214.2
5.6
22.014.50.6033.34.7
1991OAK32
133
19.215.40.5551.7
3.1
18.814.90.5581.83.1
1992OAK33
115
17.912.10.5962.7
3.8
16.412.00.5772.03.1
34
134
19.116.50.5371.0
2.5
20.015.30.5672.13.5
1994OAK35
87
11.38.90.5581.0
1.9
10.18.00.5570.91.7
1995OAK36
112
14.912.20.5491.1
2.2
14.211.50.5521.12.2
1996SDN37
146
16.014.10.5320.4
1.6
16.615.10.5230.11.4
38
120
11.812.20.494-0.4
0.7
13.513.00.509-0.01.1
1998OAK39
152
18.118.40.496-0.3
1.1
19.818.20.5210.72.1
1999NYN40
121
14.714.00.512-0.1
1.0
14.513.30.5220.21.3
41
120
13.914.30.492-0.6
0.6
13.514.80.476-1.10.1
2001SDN42
122
13.212.50.514-0.1
1.0
13.112.80.506-0.30.8
2002BOS43
61
6.66.70.499-0.2
0.4
6.36.40.497-0.20.3
2003LAN44
30
1.92.10.474-0.2
-0.0
2.01.80.5200.00.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
3,059
426.7353.30.54728.7
59.4
425.6349.00.54930.360.8
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
60
8.06.70.544 1.08.76.80.563 1.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
3,119
434.8360.00.547
60.4
434.3355.80.549 62.2


Rickey Henderson's Baserunning
Rickey Henderson is probably most famous as a basestealer. He holds the single-season (130) and career (1,406) records for stolen bases. His career total is almost 50% greater than the #2 player on the list, Lou Brock. The top players in Component 1 (basestealing) Player won-lost records are shown next.

Component 1 Baserunning
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Rickey Henderson31.619.90.61411.7
2Tim Raines Sr.18.49.10.6699.3
3Willie Wilson13.86.10.6937.7
4Joe L. Morgan17.010.20.6266.9
5Vince Coleman17.611.20.6116.4
6Bert Campaneris19.713.40.5966.4
7Lou Brock22.716.30.5816.4
8Paul Molitor12.06.20.6605.8
9Davey Lopes12.66.90.6485.8
10Luis Aparicio12.67.60.6245.0


Not surprisingly, Henderson has a commanding lead there.

There is more to baserunning than just stealing bases and, not surprisingly, Rickey Henderson was pretty good at the non-basestealing aspects of baserunning as well. The top 25 players in baserunning Player won-lost records, excluding Component 1, since 1961 (the first MLB expansion) are shown next.

Non-Basestealing Baserunning
(since 1961)
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Bert Campaneris15.010.60.5864.4
2Robin Yount16.212.30.5694.0
3Willie Davis14.410.70.5743.7
4Tim Raines Sr.15.111.50.5673.6
5Lou Whitaker14.310.80.5693.5
6Willie Wilson11.98.50.5833.4
7Johnny Damon13.810.70.5633.1
8Dick McAuliffe10.87.70.5833.1
9Barry Larkin13.110.10.5653.0
10Rickey Henderson19.316.40.5423.0
11Brett Butler15.912.90.5523.0
12Kenny Lofton13.210.30.5612.9
13Mookie Wilson9.06.20.5942.8
14Davey Lopes10.37.50.5792.8
15Rod Carew17.614.80.5422.7
16Ozzie Guillen9.77.00.5812.7
17Ryne Sandberg12.910.20.5582.7
18Toby Harrah12.09.40.5602.6
19Don Buford9.97.30.5752.6
20Paul Molitor16.714.20.5412.5
21Juan Pierre11.99.40.5592.5
22Tommy Harper10.68.20.5662.5
23Jimmy Rollins13.411.00.5492.4
24Larry Bowa12.410.00.5542.4
25Luis A. Castillo11.18.70.5602.4


And finally, the last table of this section puts the two together: the top 10 players in baserunning wins over non-pitcher average, among all players for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records.

Baserunning
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Rickey Henderson52.536.40.5917.9
2Tim Raines Sr.34.520.70.6256.5
3Willie Wilson26.514.80.6425.9
4Bert Campaneris36.123.70.6045.8
5Davey Lopes23.714.40.6224.3
6Paul Molitor29.621.00.5854.3
7Joe L. Morgan37.127.40.5754.2
8Luis Aparicio30.921.90.5864.1
9Vince Coleman26.117.60.5973.9
10Lou Brock41.333.10.5553.4

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Rickey Henderson's Overall Offense
Rickey Henderson is most famous for holding the stolen base record. But Rickey Henderson holds another career record that is far more impressive: Rickey Henderson scored more runs (2,295) than any other player in major-league history. On offense, you can't get more basic than that. The object of the game is to score runs and nobody did it more often than Rickey Henderson.

Rickey Henderson's stolen bases and baserunning certainly helped contribute to his runs scored. But you can't steal a base if you don't first get on base, and only three players in major-league history reached base more often than Henderson. Much of that is because Rickey played forever, but among players with at least 5,000 plate appearances between 1901 and 2003 (Henderson's last season), Henderson's .401 career OBP ranks 35th. Pushing the end year back to 1996, Rickey Henderson's age-37 season, Henderson's .406 OBP ranked 21st all-time since 1901. Pushing the plate appearance limit to 10,000, through 1996, Henderson's OBP was the 7th-best of the twentieth century.

Setting baserunning aside entirely, Rickey Henderson rates among the top 50 players in batting wins over non-pitcher average for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records, as shown in the next table.

Batting
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Barry Bonds306.8184.60.62456.6
2Ted Williams253.3141.30.64252.2
3Babe Ruth201.198.40.67148.8
4Hank Aaron332.7232.80.58844.8
5Mickey Mantle243.2150.30.61842.8
6Willie Mays294.9200.30.59642.6
7Stan Musial297.8208.90.58839.7
8Lou Gehrig200.3118.00.62938.3
9Frank Robinson276.3191.70.59038.3
10Mel Ott234.7152.10.60737.8
11Jimmie Foxx210.7136.20.60734.0
12Mike Schmidt231.1159.00.59232.5
13Frank E. Thomas222.4157.30.58632.3
14Jim Thome225.7160.80.58431.7
15Alex Rodriguez263.6200.30.56831.1
16Manny Ramirez221.1158.50.58230.7
17Harmon Killebrew226.9159.30.58730.4
18Willie McCovey223.3155.70.58930.2
19Albert Pujols254.0188.70.57430.0
20Reggie Jackson251.2188.90.57129.9
21Eddie Mathews228.2162.20.58529.2
22Mark McGwire178.7118.60.60129.2
23Jeff Bagwell213.3151.70.58427.4
24Carl Yastrzemski293.5233.70.55726.9
25Willie Stargell208.5148.10.58526.8
26Gary Sheffield235.5178.20.56926.0
27Chipper Jones233.6175.50.57125.5
28Miguel Cabrera211.9158.80.57225.3
29Dick Allen172.5119.30.59124.1
30Joe L. Morgan235.5179.90.56724.1
31David Ortiz219.5170.30.56324.0
32Rickey Henderson259.7210.40.55223.9
33Johnny Mize161.2108.50.59823.8
34Rogers Hornsby130.379.20.62223.8
35Joe DiMaggio176.5123.40.58923.7
36Al Kaline252.4197.60.56123.4
37Ken Griffey Jr.240.9192.00.55623.1
38Duke Snider191.0139.00.57922.8
39Jason Giambi186.6140.80.57022.4
40Jack Clark180.0131.10.57922.1
41Fred McGriff219.0170.90.56222.0
42Rafael Palmeiro249.6204.50.55022.0
43Edgar Martinez181.1137.80.56821.5
44Lance Berkman171.0124.40.57921.0
45Billy Williams230.6181.80.55920.8
46Dave Winfield258.9214.20.54720.8
47Eddie Murray265.4221.90.54520.7
48Carlos Delgado182.5139.80.56620.5
49Norm Cash176.9130.50.57520.4
50Ralph Kiner143.597.90.59420.4

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Of course, offense involves both batting and baserunning. Putting them together, Henderson's outstanding baserunning helps push him up the list considerably, so that Rickey Henderson was one of the top 20 offensive players for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records.

Top 20 Players, Offensive Player Wins over Non-Pitcher Average
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Barry Bonds335.3208.70.61658.3
2Ted Williams269.7154.80.63553.4
3Babe Ruth214.0111.70.65748.4
4Hank Aaron359.9255.50.58546.7
5Willie Mays324.2222.30.59345.7
6Mickey Mantle262.1163.10.61645.5
7Frank Robinson300.1212.20.58639.5
8Stan Musial321.0232.80.58038.9
9Mel Ott251.1166.60.60138.4
10Lou Gehrig214.6134.90.61436.8
11Jimmie Foxx224.3149.60.60033.9
12Alex Rodriguez284.0216.20.56833.3
13Rickey Henderson312.2246.80.55931.8
14Frank E. Thomas234.5171.10.57831.5
15Mike Schmidt249.3179.10.58231.1
16Jim Thome238.3174.50.57731.1
17Albert Pujols271.8204.10.57131.0
18Manny Ramirez233.8172.60.57530.0
19Eddie Mathews244.5176.60.58129.9
20Harmon Killebrew238.5172.50.58029.4


Rickey Henderson's Fielding
Rickey Henderson is, of course, most famous for his offensive prowess - over 3,000 hits, major-league records for runs scored and stolen bases. But, it turns out, Rickey Henderson was a very good outfielder for much of his career, as well. Although he was a left fielder for most of his career, Henderson was good enough defensively to play center field for the New York Yankees and do so reasonably well.

The next table shows the top 10 players in career net fielding wins in left field, among players for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records.

Career Net Fielding Wins, LF
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Joe Rudi50.341.70.5478.6
2Barry Bonds109.4101.40.5198.0
3Rickey Henderson97.491.20.5166.2
4Indian Bob Johnson75.569.70.5205.8
5Willie Wilson33.728.00.5455.6
6Jo-Jo Moore46.140.50.5325.6
7Al Simmons52.647.10.5285.5
8Bernard Gilkey41.236.30.5325.0
9Geoff Jenkins38.233.30.5354.9
10Alex Gordon44.639.80.5284.8


So, Rickey Henderson was arguably one of the five best defensive left fielders of the past 70+ years. Actually, that might well under-rate Henderson defensively. Henderson's career fielding record is dragged down by the fact that Rickey played until he was 44 years old and, not surprisingly, he was not nearly as good defensively at age 44 as he had been at age 20.

The next table compares the career fielding records of left fielders against replacement level rather than against 0.500. This has the effect of creating positive value for players for playing below-average, but not terrible, defense as, for example, Rickey Henderson did over the last several seasons of his career.

Career Fielding Wins over Replacement Level, LF
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWORL
1Barry Bonds109.4101.40.5198.6
2Rickey Henderson97.491.20.5168.5
3Indian Bob Johnson75.569.70.5206.6
4Joe Rudi50.341.70.5476.6
5Roy White67.462.90.5175.5
6Al Simmons52.647.10.5285.4
7Carl Crawford61.858.30.5155.3
8Alex Gordon44.639.80.5285.3
9Jo-Jo Moore46.140.50.5325.2
10Carl Yastrzemski87.985.30.5075.1


A case can be made that Rickey Henderson was perhaps one of the top 2 or 3 best defensive left fielders of the past 70 years.

Rickey Henderson's Overall Career Value
So, there you have it: very good hitter, outstanding baserunner, very good fielder (albeit at a somewhat less valuable defensive position), extremely long career. Put it all together, and Rickey Henderson was one of the top 20 major-league baseball players of at least the last 70 years.

Top 25 Players
(sorted by career pWORL)
pWins pLosses pWORL pWOPA
1Barry Bonds462.1315.160.390.8
2Willie Mays460.1335.249.681.8
3Roger Clemens318.2228.251.179.6
4Hank Aaron492.5372.942.277.9
5Babe Ruth306.4178.654.274.1
6Mickey Mantle351.8230.750.273.9
7Greg Maddux328.5271.444.873.5
8Joe L. Morgan374.0292.346.272.7
9Warren Spahn354.2293.643.871.8
10Ted Williams369.6253.644.569.9
11Alex Rodriguez373.9297.242.569.5
12Stan Musial420.9312.139.969.4
13Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson281.3221.038.564.3
14Lefty Grove248.3169.644.963.8
15Mel Ott361.9264.736.963.1
16Tom Seaver309.0256.738.162.4
17Derek Jeter369.4322.233.460.1
18Frank Robinson395.0304.230.459.8
19Rickey Henderson426.7353.328.759.4
20Steve Carlton338.0304.231.658.9
21Albert Pujols334.8243.534.158.0
22Lou Gehrig263.4158.040.257.8
23Joe DiMaggio280.1192.038.357.5
24Pee Wee Reese300.7238.735.257.0
25Eddie Mathews320.6240.534.356.9




All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.

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