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
12.312.30.501-0.2
0.8
11.912.70.483-0.60.3
1980OAK21
158
26.620.50.5662.4
4.2
26.620.50.5652.44.2
1981OAK22
108
17.713.70.5641.6
2.9
17.813.60.5671.73.0
1982OAK23
149
22.219.10.5381.1
2.7
22.818.40.5531.73.3
1983OAK24
145
20.517.40.5411.1
2.5
21.516.50.5662.13.5
1984OAK25
142
22.517.30.5662.1
3.6
22.617.20.5682.23.7
1985NYA26
143
23.115.90.5923.3
4.8
23.315.70.5983.55.0
1986NYA27
153
20.818.50.5300.9
2.4
21.218.10.5401.32.8
1987NYA28
95
13.410.80.5541.1
2.2
13.610.70.5601.22.3
1988NYA29
140
22.516.80.5732.5
4.0
22.117.20.5622.13.6
30
150
22.617.30.5662.1
3.5
22.317.60.5581.83.2
1990OAK31
136
23.814.50.6214.2
5.6
23.115.20.6033.54.9
1991OAK32
134
19.215.40.5551.7
3.0
19.315.30.5581.83.1
1992OAK33
116
17.912.10.5962.6
3.8
17.312.70.5772.13.2
34
134
19.116.50.5371.0
2.5
20.215.40.5662.03.5
1994OAK35
87
11.38.90.5581.0
1.9
11.39.00.5561.01.9
1995OAK36
112
14.912.20.5491.0
2.2
15.012.10.5521.12.3
1996SDN37
148
16.014.10.5320.4
1.6
15.714.40.5230.11.4
38
120
11.812.10.494-0.3
0.7
12.211.70.5100.01.1
1998OAK39
152
18.118.40.496-0.3
1.1
19.117.50.5210.62.0
1999NYN40
121
14.714.00.512-0.1
1.1
15.013.70.5220.21.3
41
123
13.914.40.491-0.6
0.5
13.514.90.475-1.10.0
2001SDN42
123
13.312.50.516-0.1
1.0
13.112.70.508-0.30.8
2002BOS43
72
6.86.70.505-0.1
0.5
6.86.70.504-0.10.5
2003LAN44
30
1.92.10.474-0.2
-0.0
2.11.90.5200.00.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
3,080
427.2353.60.54728.3
59.1
429.2351.50.55030.361.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
60
8.06.70.544 1.08.86.80.563 1.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
3,140
435.2360.30.547
60.1
438.0358.30.550 62.5


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 Henderson32.020.00.61511.9
2Tim Raines Sr.18.69.30.6669.3
3Willie Wilson14.77.10.6747.6
4Joe L. Morgan17.110.20.6277.0
5Lou Brock22.916.30.5846.6
6Vince Coleman17.811.20.6136.6
7Bert Campaneris20.013.50.5966.5
8Davey Lopes12.97.00.6506.0
9Paul Molitor12.06.20.6605.8
10Luis Aparicio12.77.60.6265.1


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 Campaneris15.110.70.5854.4
2Robin Yount16.212.20.5714.0
3Willie Davis14.410.70.5753.8
4Tim Raines Sr.15.111.50.5683.6
5Willie Wilson12.28.60.5853.5
6Lou Whitaker14.310.90.5673.4
7Johnny Damon13.910.70.5653.2
8Rickey Henderson19.416.40.5433.1
9Dick McAuliffe10.87.70.5833.1
10Kenny Lofton13.310.30.5653.0
11Barry Larkin13.010.00.5653.0
12Brett Butler15.913.00.5512.9
13Mookie Wilson9.06.20.5912.8
14Davey Lopes10.37.60.5762.7
15Ozzie Guillen9.76.90.5822.7
16Ryne Sandberg12.910.20.5582.7
17Juan Pierre12.09.40.5622.6
18Rod Carew17.414.80.5412.6
19Toby Harrah12.19.40.5612.6
20Tommy Harper10.88.20.5682.6
21Paul Molitor16.614.00.5422.6
22Ian Kinsler10.47.80.5702.6
23Don Buford9.97.30.5742.5
24Larry Bowa12.510.00.5542.4
25Luis A. Castillo11.18.70.5612.4


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 Henderson52.736.50.5918.0
2Tim Raines Sr.34.620.90.6246.5
3Willie Wilson27.615.90.6355.9
4Bert Campaneris36.224.00.6025.8
5Davey Lopes23.914.60.6214.4
6Paul Molitor29.320.70.5864.3
7Joe L. Morgan36.727.10.5754.2
8Luis Aparicio30.921.80.5864.0
9Vince Coleman26.217.70.5963.9
10Kenny Lofton26.119.00.5793.5

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 Bonds306.9184.70.62456.6
2Ted Williams253.4141.50.64252.2
3Babe Ruth201.098.40.67148.8
4Hank Aaron332.9233.00.58844.8
5Mickey Mantle243.3150.30.61842.8
6Willie Mays295.1200.40.59642.6
7Stan Musial298.0209.10.58839.7
8Mel Ott243.5157.00.60839.6
9Lou Gehrig202.7119.70.62938.7
10Frank Robinson276.4191.90.59038.3
11Jimmie Foxx221.1143.00.60735.6
12Mike Schmidt231.2159.00.59232.5
13Frank E. Thomas222.4157.40.58632.3
14Jim Thome225.8160.90.58431.7
15Alex Rodriguez263.7200.40.56831.1
16Manny Ramirez221.1158.60.58230.7
17Harmon Killebrew227.0159.40.58730.4
18Willie McCovey223.4155.80.58930.2
19Albert Pujols263.1197.90.57130.0
20Reggie Jackson251.4189.00.57129.9
21Eddie Mathews228.3162.30.58529.3
22Mark McGwire178.7118.70.60129.1
23Jeff Bagwell213.3151.80.58427.4
24Carl Yastrzemski293.6233.90.55726.9
25Willie Stargell208.6148.20.58526.8
26Johnny Mize173.4114.90.60126.6
27Gary Sheffield235.6178.30.56926.0
28Chipper Jones233.8175.60.57125.5
29Miguel Cabrera214.9161.60.57125.4
30Dick Allen172.5119.40.59124.1
31David Ortiz219.6170.40.56324.0
32Joe L. Morgan235.6180.00.56724.0
33Rickey Henderson259.8210.50.55223.9
34Rogers Hornsby130.579.30.62223.8
35Joe DiMaggio178.0124.70.58823.7
36Al Kaline252.6197.80.56123.4
37Ken Griffey Jr.241.0192.20.55623.1
38Duke Snider191.1139.20.57922.8
39Jason Giambi186.6140.90.57022.4
40Jack Clark180.1131.10.57922.1
41Fred McGriff219.1171.00.56222.0
42Rafael Palmeiro249.7204.70.55021.9
43Edgar Martinez181.1137.90.56821.5
44Lance Berkman171.1124.50.57921.0
45Billy Williams230.8181.90.55920.8
46Dave Winfield259.0214.30.54720.8
47Eddie Murray265.5222.10.54420.5
48Norm Cash177.0130.60.57620.4
49Carlos Delgado182.5139.90.56620.4
50Ralph Kiner143.598.00.59420.4

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 Bonds335.0208.50.61658.3
2Ted Williams268.8154.40.63553.2
3Babe Ruth213.8111.30.65748.5
4Hank Aaron359.6254.90.58546.8
5Willie Mays324.1222.20.59345.7
6Mickey Mantle261.9162.80.61745.6
7Mel Ott260.3171.70.60240.3
8Frank Robinson299.8212.20.58639.4
9Stan Musial320.8232.30.58039.1
10Lou Gehrig217.1136.80.61337.0
11Jimmie Foxx235.2157.00.60035.4
12Alex Rodriguez283.5215.90.56833.2
13Rickey Henderson312.5247.00.55931.9
14Frank E. Thomas234.0170.60.57831.5
15Jim Thome237.7173.90.57731.1
16Mike Schmidt248.9178.90.58231.1
17Albert Pujols280.7213.70.56830.7
18Manny Ramirez233.0172.10.57529.9
19Eddie Mathews244.2176.50.58129.8
20Harmon Killebrew237.9172.00.58029.4


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 Bonds109.5101.50.5198.0
3Rickey Henderson97.591.30.5166.2
4Indian Bob Johnson76.470.40.5206.0
5Willie Wilson33.728.10.5455.6
6Alex Gordon50.144.70.5295.5
7Al Simmons57.652.10.5255.4
8Jo-Jo Moore48.543.10.5295.4
9Bernard Gilkey41.336.30.5325.0
10Geoff Jenkins38.333.30.5354.9


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 Bonds109.5101.50.5198.8
2Rickey Henderson97.591.30.5168.4
3Indian Bob Johnson76.470.40.5206.7
4Joe Rudi50.341.70.5476.5
5Alex Gordon50.144.70.5295.9
6Al Simmons57.652.10.5255.7
7Roy White67.563.00.5175.5
8Jo-Jo Moore48.543.10.5295.2
9Carl Crawford61.958.40.5155.2
10Carl Yastrzemski88.085.40.5075.1


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 Bonds462.0314.961.091.4
2Willie Mays460.1334.749.882.0
3Hank Aaron491.8372.142.277.9
4Roger Clemens318.1228.146.374.6
5Babe Ruth306.0177.854.474.2
6Mickey Mantle351.7230.450.373.9
7Joe L. Morgan373.8292.146.472.8
8Ted Williams368.9253.144.469.7
9Stan Musial420.8311.540.169.6
10Alex Rodriguez374.0297.242.169.1
11Warren Spahn353.9293.440.868.5
12Greg Maddux328.5271.339.968.5
13Mel Ott375.2272.539.266.2
14Lefty Grove254.8176.544.763.9
15Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson281.2220.934.259.9
16Frank Robinson394.8304.030.459.8
17Derek Jeter369.5322.432.959.6
18Rickey Henderson427.2353.628.359.1
19Albert Pujols346.2255.333.958.9
20Tom Seaver308.9256.734.458.5
21Lou Gehrig265.8160.140.358.0
22Joe DiMaggio281.9194.338.357.6
23Pee Wee Reese301.5239.135.357.2
24Chipper Jones336.7258.533.857.0
25Eddie Mathews320.9240.834.357.0




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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