Monday, April 14, 2014

1978 Topps Baseball #134 - Steve Henderson


  • Steve Henderson was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 1974. Steve progressed through the Cincinnati farm system and put up good number, but he wasn't able to break into the Big Red Machine outfield. 
  • On June 16, 1977 Steve was traded (with Doug Flynn, Pat Zachary, and Dan Norman) to the New York Mets for Tom Seaver. Henderson was brought up to the Mets and he had a fine rookie season (.297, 12 HR, 65 RBI in 95 games). Steve finished second to Andre Dawson in a close vote for NL Rookie of the Year.
  • Henderson was hit with the sophomore jinx in 1978. Steve played in 157 games but his batting average was down to .266. Henderson did have a career high with 30 doubles.
  • Steve was headed for a good bounceback season in 1979, but his season was cut short by an injury on July 30. Henderson played in one game in late September, but he missed over two months. Steve batted .306 in 98 games.
  • Henderson reclaimed the starting left field spot in 1980 and batted .290 with 8 home runs and 58 RBI. After the 1980 season Steve was traded to the Chicago Cubs for Dave Kingman.
  • The 1981 season was shortened by the strike. Steve played in 82 games and batted .293 with 5 HR and 35 RBI.
  • Steve had his toughest season in 1982. He lost his starting LF job in late May and had only one hit in June and one hit in July. Henderson batted .233 in 92 games. After the 1982 season Henderson was traded to the Seattle Mariners for Rich Bordi.
  • The 1983 season was Henderson's last as a full-time starting player. He batted .294 with 10 HR and 54 RBI in 121 games. In 1984 Steve became a fourth outfielder and DH and batted .262 with 10 HR and 35 RBI in 109 games. Henderson filed a grievance against the Mariners because he felt the team was colluding to curtail his freedom of movement after the 1983 season.
  • Henderson became a free agent after the 1984 season. He didn't sign a contract during that winter and finally signed with the Oakland A's during spring training in 1985. Steve was a pinch hitter, DH, and extra outfielder during his time with the A's. In 1985 Henderson batted .301 in 85 games.
  • In 1986 Henderson was the odd man out in a crowded Oakland outfield. He played in only 11 games in April and May and went 2 for 26 (.077). At the end of May Steve was released. He signed with the Chicago White Sox and played in AA for the rest of the 1986 season.
  • After the 1986 season Henderson was released by the White Sox. He signed with Oakland and started the 1987 season in the minors. He was brought up in July and spent the rest of the year with Oakland. Steve batted .289 in 46 games for the A's in 1987.
  • Henderson became a free agent after the 1987 season and signed with the Houston Astros. Steve wasn't getting much playing time with the Astros and spend some time in AAA. In his final season as a major leaguer Henderson batted .217 in 46 at bats.
  • Steve played in AAA in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in 1989 and then played in the Senior Professional Baseball League in 1989 and in 1990.
  • Henderson became a coach after his playing career. He has had various assignments, mostly as a hitting coach, since 1990. Steve's latest job was as the Philadelphia Phillies hitting coach in 2013 and is still in that position as of April 2014.
  • 1978 Stats: .266, 10 HR, 65 RBI in 157 games
  • 1978 Highlights:
    • April 9 - Appeared as a pinch hitter in the 6th inning and hit a grand slam.The Mets beat the Montreal Expos 6-5.
    • May 18 - Had four hits and knocked in the winning run in the 10th inning of the Mets' 8-7 win over the Atlanta Braves. 
    • Sept 8 - Had two hits and scored all three New York runs as the Mets beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2.