Dave Henderson has passed away

Rasputin

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Oh my God. He was my first real baseball hero. If it weren't for him, I might not even lounge baseball. I think I'm going to be sick.
 
Feb 26, 2002
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One of my favorite moments as a Red Sox fan.

For you young-ones.....Game 4 (oops - Game 5) of the '86 ALCS was an exciting game and this man was the central focus of it.
 
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Van Everyman

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Ugh, that's terrible. In addition to producing the first—and what should have been second—iconic moment of my baseball life, he was a pretty good color guy IIRC as well. So sad.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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His HR in Game 5 of the '86 ALCS was one of the biggest moments in Red Sox history, and he's forever a legend in this town for it. But imagine how much greater his legend would be if his HR in Game 6 of the '86 World Series held up as the game winner that it nearly was.
 

InsideTheParker

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MLBN has a series on post-seasons, and in one of them Henderson noted that it wasn't fun being accused of "killing Donnie Moore." It turns up from time to time and is a nice show for seein him and other old-timers.
 

Average Reds

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One of my favorite moments as a Red Sox fan.

For you young-ones.....Game 4 of the '86 ALCS was an exciting game and this man was the central focus of it.
Game 5, but yes ...

One of the things that stunned me recently was a recap of that game on MLB Network, and there were so many incredible moments/turning points that I forgot about. Out of all of them, Henderson's shot off Moore (after Reggie Jackson was seen was shown in the dugout hugging Gene Mauch for finally winning the pennant) is the one that stays with me. And I guess all of us.

RIP Hendu.
 

smastroyin

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Sad day. On top of his place in Red Sox post-season history he had some great seasons as a Mariner and an A. Even though I fucking hated with all of my passion those late 80's Oakland teams (after all they kept beating the tar out of the Red Sox) I could never cheer against Hendu. And from all accounts he was a super human off of the field. Too soon.
 

Koufax

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One of the greatest home runs I've ever seen. RIP, Hendu.
 

moondog80

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A late bloomer who exploded in Oakland at age 29. Combined WAR of 20.7 from 1989 to 1992, total WAR of 6.9 his other 10 seasons. RIP.
 

RG33

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Watching the homerun without the music overlay from the 1986 Red Sox ALCS Champions video doesn't feel right.

Really too bad. That home run. That smile. Supposed to have been a great guy. RIP.
 

Clears Cleaver

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Aug 1, 2001
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Was just recounting that moment yesterday with a handful of Sox fans and SoSHers. Just an incredible moment. He was half inning away from being the hero in Boston that Papi evolved into. RIP Hendu
 

E5 Yaz

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Was arguably the best single moment in the post Yaz era until the Roberts steal. RIP Hendu.
There was a story going around at the time that he injured his knee on the home run hop, and that forced him to play deeper than usual in CF during the World Series -- which became crucial in the ninth inning of Game 6, when a couple of those NYM singles fell in front of him. Probably folklore, but every time i see that clip, I think of it.

Way too young for a man to pass. He was a lot of fun as a broadcaster in Seattle, as well.
 

HriniakPosterChild

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I remember well how I saw that as 4 HR's because of the ghosting on my TV in Back Bay, which was quite a few years away from being wired for cable TV.

Worth reflecting that Boston was such an awful place in the 1980's for dark-skinned players that Hendu wore a "Boston Sucks" T-shirt under his uniform top. (I read this, I believe, in Howard Bryant's excellent but sobering Shut Out.) What a difference the years have made between then and now. I am thinking, of course, of David "This is our elfin' city" Ortiz.

Edit: the quote from Shut Out.
 
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SoxLegacy

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He comes up clearly limping after the first jump following the hit, so perhaps the knee injury isn't folklore. One of the most intensely positive Sox moments of my lifetime. Thanks for the memories, Hendu!
 

Spacemans Bong

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Is he the first guy from the 86 team to pass away?

I just watched Game 5 a few days ago on YouTube. Of all the really great games in Red Sox history, that has a strong case for being the best. The 9th inning comeback is completely nuts (as was the subsequent Angel comeback, ended only by a fingertip grab by Steve Crawford on a soft liner by Grich that might have made its way into the outfield for a pennant-winning single). And Hendu was the main man in all of that.
 

curly2

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Is he the first guy from the 86 team to pass away?

I just watched Game 5 a few days ago on YouTube. Of all the really great games in Red Sox history, that has a strong case for being the best. The 9th inning comeback is completely nuts (as was the subsequent Angel comeback, ended only by a fingertip grab by Steve Crawford on a soft liner by Grich that might have made its way into the outfield for a pennant-winning single). And Hendu was the main man in all of that.
And Rice catching a ball right at the wall to end a Angels threat, and Brian Downing making an amazing catch crashing into the wall on a ball hit by Ed Romero.

Amazing game, and great job on play-by-play by Al Michaels.

Rest in peace, Hendu.
 

Spacemans Bong

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And Rice catching a ball right at the wall to end a Angels threat, and Brian Downing making an amazing catch crashing into the wall on a ball hit by Ed Romero.

Amazing game, and great job on play-by-play by Al Michaels.

Rest in peace, Hendu.
Yep - if I remember correctly, Rice caught a ball hit by Gary Pettis, and Rice looked decidedly shaky tracking back and then making a jumping catch at the wall. He looked like was about to throw up as the camera zoomed in on him holding the ball.

The Red Sox won it in the 11th or 12th on a sac fly by Hendu. The assist on Grich's home run, the homer in the 9th, the game winning RBI. The Hendu Game.
 

luckysox

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Apr 21, 2009
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Watching the homerun without the music overlay from the 1986 Red Sox ALCS Champions video doesn't feel right.

Really too bad. That home run. That smile. Supposed to have been a great guy. RIP.
And that home run trot...my favorite of all time. God, I love re-watching that home run. Aww, Hendu. I hope you know the joy you brought to so many in that moment.

Edit: I didn't know the uniqueness of that shot's trot was possibly because he hurt himself on the hop. Interesting.
 

mauf

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I was a prospect hound at an early age. I remember being irritated after Hendu fell behind 0-2 to Donnie Moore that we had traded Rey Quinones for that scrub and some white guy, just so we could win one lousy home playoff game. Thanks, Hendu, for teaching me that it ain't over until it's over. RIP.
 

HoyaSoxa

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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):

 
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jacklamabe65

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He was on deck in the Superdome, of all places, years later, as a spring training game in New Orleans. As he was taking practice cuts, I yelled out, "Thanks for '86, Hendu!" He looked up, smiled that wonderful smile of his, and said, "You Sox fans! You're everywhere!"

Thanks for the memories, Dave.
 

Punchado

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Pretty sure that game happened on Yom Kippur because I remember my parents dragging us to temple and my brother and I sneaking out to huddle with a few other sinners to listen to the end of the game on a transistor radio. One of the top ten moments in RS history.
 

Scott Cooper

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Definitely a Jewish holiday as my 15 year old self refused to go after he hit the hr. I had to ride out the extras. Also I remember being at a game at Fenway in the 90s when he was playing with Oakland. The whole bleachers were chanting "steroids" at Conseco an Hendu was egging on Conseco to flex for the crowed which both he and Hendu did. He had a blast out there.
 

curly2

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For a guy who wasn't here that long his moments are etched in all our memories forever. RIP Hendu.
He was here longer than Roberts, by a little. Two short-timers who will be forgotten by people who witnessed their moments.
 

Harry Hooper

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His HR in Game 5 of the '86 ALCS was one of the biggest moments in Red Sox history, and he's forever a legend in this town for it. But imagine how much greater his legend would be if his HR in Game 6 of the '86 World Series held up as the game winner that it nearly was.
Yes, he deserved to be remembered as one of MLB's all-time postseason heroes.
 

wiffleballhero

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In the simulacrum
One of the only MLBers I've ever met.

Shook his hand on the street in Seattle and told him how great he was in 86 and how much 'we' appreciated his time on the sox.

He seemed like a nice guy in my quick chat. His hands were enormous.

Sad to see him go.

I for one will have to be pretty far into dementia to forget him. What a 1/4 season and fortnight.
 

E5 Yaz

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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.

 

timlinin8th

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His HR in Game 5 of the '86 ALCS was one of the biggest moments in Red Sox history, and he's forever a legend in this town for it. But imagine how much greater his legend would be if his HR in Game 6 of the '86 World Series held up as the game winner that it nearly was.

The vid is set up to start at Hendu's 10th inning shot.
 

Flynn4ever

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In '86 I was so dejected at the apparent Sox loss to the Angels in game 5 of the ALCS that I shut of the game and went down to the house of my (Yankee loving) buddy to get the ribbing over with as soon as possible. When I got there, he wasn't around but his little brother was and informed me that the game was still on due to a guy named Henderson hitting a home run to save the Sox. We watched the end and of course Hendu became one of my all-time favorites. I do sometimes wonder though if it was better to win that series and "get to" lose to the Mets or if it would have been less painful to bow out in 5 to the Angels. 2004 made that question moot. Godspeed, Hendu.
 

boxosII

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The Game 5 home run trot is one of my favorite and most indelible baseball memories. RIP Hendu.
 

Spacemans Bong

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In '86 I was so dejected at the apparent Sox loss to the Angels in game 5 of the ALCS that I shut of the game and went down to the house of my (Yankee loving) buddy to get the ribbing over with as soon as possible. When I got there, he wasn't around but his little brother was and informed me that the game was still on due to a guy named Henderson hitting a home run to save the Sox. We watched the end and of course Hendu became one of my all-time favorites. I do sometimes wonder though if it was better to win that series and "get to" lose to the Mets or if it would have been less painful to bow out in 5 to the Angels. 2004 made that question moot. Godspeed, Hendu.
The answer to your question is something like the Seattle Mariners crossed with the pre-1997 Cleveland Indians, and I think the answer is no.

No heartbreak probably means nobody cares.
 
Dec 21, 2015
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1986 ALCS Game 5 is still one of the all-time greatest games in MLB history. It's replayed on MLB Network every offseason, it's mentioned on top-whatever lists, it was truly a game for the ages. Hendu's heroics that day will outlive him by many generations. Every man dies, but few live as greatly as he did.
 

Oil Can Dan

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That HR is a top-three happiest individual play moment of my life, sports edition. Damon's 2nd HR in game 7 and Flutie v Miami are the other two.
 

54thMA

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In '86 I was so dejected at the apparent Sox loss to the Angels in game 5 of the ALCS that I shut of the game and went down to the house of my (Yankee loving) buddy to get the ribbing over with as soon as possible. When I got there, he wasn't around but his little brother was and informed me that the game was still on due to a guy named Henderson hitting a home run to save the Sox. We watched the end and of course Hendu became one of my all-time favorites. I do sometimes wonder though if it was better to win that series and "get to" lose to the Mets or if it would have been less painful to bow out in 5 to the Angels. 2004 made that question moot. Godspeed, Hendu.
I was at the Patriots game that day, they lost the game (99% sure that like today, they lost to the fucking Jets; talk about ironic) and I was boiling mad out in the parking lot as we tailgated after the game. The guys tailgating next to us had a TV rigged up and a shit ton of people were crowded around the tv watching the 9th inning of game 5 of the ALCS, I was so pissed over the Patriots loss I didn't feel like watching.

When Baylor hit his home run, the parking lot erupted. When Henderson came up to bat, one of my friends called me over, I reluctantly went over to watch what I thought would be the final out; when he hit that shot heard round New England, we all went crazy. When that half inning ended, we packed our gear, jumped in my friends car and we raced back to his house to watch the rest of the game, my friend did his best Cole Trickle impression racing down route 1 towards his house.

We made it back to his house in time to see the Red Sox take the lead and win the game.

Thanks Dave for giving me such a great memory and like others have said here, were it not for the cruelty of the baseball Gods, there would be a statue in front of Fenway in your likeness; to be honest, there should be one anyway.

Gods speed, R.I.P. Hendu.
 

VTSox

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One of my favorite moments as a Red Sox fan.

For you young-ones.....Game 4 (oops - Game 5) of the '86 ALCS was an exciting game and this man was the central focus of it.
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".