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Remembering Dave Henderson and so much else

December 29, 2015

My heart is heavy with the news that Dave Henderson, a fine major league outfielder, best known for his incredible post-season heroics that helped the Red Sox win the pennant and nearly end a 68 year title drought in 1986, has passed away at the age of 58.

Dave played on the 1989 World champion Oakland A’s and two other pennant winners with that club.

An unbelievable, emotional, multi dimensional bolt registered in me, as news came on Sunday past, that Dave Henderson had passed.

Back in time, I so intensely recall another Sunday, when Henderson’s exploits led the Red Sox to an unbelievable come from behind win in game 5 of the 1986 ALCS, vs the then California Angels, 3,000 or so miles away in Anaheim.

I happened to be in the Shea Stadium parking lot, getting ready to work in the ABC booth for game 4 of the NLCS, contested between the New York Mets and Houston Astros.

“Rooting” for the Angels, I watched in “horror” on a “stranger someone’s” very small portable television, as Henderson, with the Red Sox down to their last strike, and facing post-season elimination, hit a home run to put Boston ahead.

So much else happened in that game, the melodramatic post-season of baseball 1986, and of course since.

Some of what did, follows.

Sadly, Donnie Moore the Angels’ pitcher, who surrendered the home run to Henderson, killed himself, with that home run pitch a factor, but of course, not the only one in his heartbreaking decision.

Henderson, this time with both he and I in Shea Stadium, hit a home run in the top of the 10th inning of game 6 of the World Series, (vs the Mets), 13 days after his home run in Anaheim, that put the Red Sox one inning away from their first World Series win in 68 years.

As with what manifested concerning the Angels vs them, the Red Sox, though one strike away from winning it all, were denied, as was Henderson, from being an all-time post-season hero.

Ah, but alas he was!

The confluence of time and dramatic memories which are all part of life, which in turn, inexorably heads to our end, is very powerful.

I think of this and Dave Henderson. Both he and 29 plus years of life since those dramatic memories are gone.

I hope this is playing out in a better place.

Even and perhaps especially God has assistants (personal and God in any vein, including whether one believes, is redundant).

One (an assistant to God/a force) is summoned and says. Mr. Henderson you have no problem getting in here. In fact the “big guy/girl/it” wants to say this.

Baseball even as late as 1986, was still a great human achievement and you involved in so much drama, uniquely emotional, heart stopping, HUMAN drama (only after writing it I realized the tag line for ABC’s Wide World of Sports ie “the human drama of athletic competition, I suppose) moved the “big entity” with great pride.

So run the reel forever, hope “Donnies,” Moore and Hathaway, each of whom chose to end their lives, can help us evoke Mr. Hathaway’s song and say we FOUND, not “Where is the Love?”

One thing, I bring into focus with a rare smile. Though I did not have its importance in perspective, Dave Henderson and the 1986 baseball post-season, will always be a great memory for me.

Dave–Though I cringed then, thank you  for those great moments provided by your exploits, glad your A’s and you “titled” in 1989, and with some perspective, more with your sad passing, I go on living!


Dave Henderson, pictured above, played in 4 World Series in 5 seasons, first with the Boston Red Sox in 1986 and then with the Oakland A’s (1988-1990). Click below to see video of “Hendu’s” two home runs, in the clinching game of the only winning World Series for his team in 1989, vs the San Francisco Giants.

Dave Henderson’s two 1989 World Series homers with A’s









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