today is many things - the last tuesday of the year, christmas, and rickey henderson's 55th birthday. i'm sure rickey got shorted on gifts as a kid due to the dual birthday/christmas thing, but perhaps rickey used that as fuel to motivate rickey into becoming, as he said, the greatest.
back in 2003, rickey spent his last days in the major leagues with the dodgers who had plucked rickey out of the atlantic league in the hopes that rickey would jumpstart the team, or at least put some fans in the seats.
here's rickey's 2004 upper deck card
as for that upper deck card, it features rickey's complete major league career stats on the back, as a true final tribute should.
those are some big numbers. at the time of rickey's retirement (or at the end of the 2003 season, as rickey didn't officially retire), rickey was the all-time leader in stolen bases, walks (not shown), and runs scored. rickey is still number one in steals and runs scored, but barry bonds wound up walking more times than rickey.
rickey had other cards in 2004 which, as a dodger collector, pleased me. this is a 2004 playoff absolute memorabilia (retail version) card
for the record, since it's not on the back of any of these cards, rickey walked 11 times as a dodger. rickey was 20th on the all-time hit list after the 2003 season, rickey has since been bumped to 22nd as craig biggio and derek jeter have both passed rickey in recent years.
here's a 2004 donruss team heroes card of rickey
rickey slid into home plate to celebrate, just like yasiel puig did last year on his first walk-off homer. admittedly, rickey had a few more years under rickey's belt when rickey did it.
not all of rickey's 2004 cards showed him as a dodger. this is a 2004 donruss lumber & leather card featuring rickey as an athletic
unfortunately, rickey's last professional game was played in 2005 as a member of the san diego surf
merry christmas everybody, and happy birthday rickey!