Dave Henderson, one of the most instrumental players on three A’s World Series teams of the late '80s and early '90s, died Sunday at age 57.
USA Today reported that Henderson underwent a kidney transplant a month ago and died Sunday after going into cardiac arrest.
Known for the energy and unique style he brought to the field, Henderson was the starting center fielder on three consecutive A’s teams that played in the World Series from 1988-90, including the ’89 club that swept the Giants in the Fall Classic.
He played 14 seasons in the Major Leagues, including a brief stint with the Giants in 1987, and hit 197 homers for five teams total. Two years before landing with Oakland in 1988, the man known simply as “Hendu” clubbed one of the most memorable homers in postseason history while with Boston, a two-run shot off the Angels’ Donnie Moore in Game 5 of the American League Championship series that helped turn the tide of that series in the Red Sox’s favor.
But Henderson enjoyed his greatest years in green and gold from 1988-93. Playing alongside superstars like Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire and Rickey Henderson, who usually got more attention, Dave Henderson posted four 20-homer seasons with Oakland and made his only All-Star team in 1991.
During the World Series sweep of the Giants in ’89, Henderson went 4 for 13 with two home runs. A’s fans also will remember the flair with which he played the game, bounding out of the batter’s box after a home run or going into a crouch to haul in a one-handed catch.
The A's issued a statement regarding Henderson's passing:
"The A’s are saddened to hear of the passing of Dave Henderson. Henderson was an instrumental part of the A’s 1989 World Series Championship club and an even more impactful member of the A’s family and community. Hendu and his smile will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his family."
Joe Stiglich is CSNBayArea.com's A's Insider. Follow him on Twitter @JoeStiglichCSN.