Saturday, November 23, 2019

Vagabond Binder: Rickey Henderson

Fun new project I'm kicking off. I've typically been a penny sleeves & boxes type of collector, but in an effort to engage with my collection a bit more, I've been working up a "fun binder" (or as I call mine, "The Binder of Enchantment and Wonder"), which will feature a bunch of themed pages. And here's the first section.

The Vagabond Binder!

It focuses on players who changed teams a lot in their careers. One page per player. To be eligible, a player must have been with at least 7 MLB teams. Of course 9 is ideal, so you can have a card for each team. But guys with 7 or 8 teams can find filler cards with minor league or foreign leagues, senior league, coaching/manager cards, etc. Zero Year cards definitely count (such as Jose Canseco on the Expos and Angels). Custom cards are allowed if there's no readily available card of the guy in a particular uniform.

So with the parameters understood, let's kick off with a guy who played for exactly 9 MLB clubs (plus some double-dipping), the great Rickey Henderson.

Nine cards, nine teams! This is an ideal page for the Vagabond Binder.

Let's take a closer look at them.

Some collectors might frown on the same design popping up twice on the same page, but not me! Honestly I don't have many Yankees cards in my Rickey PC, so I didn't have much choice. And the '89 Topps Traded is one of my favorite A's cards of his (plus I had a dupe of it, which is a good since I'm pulling these cards out of the PC for the binder). But yeah, I think this is an appealing pairing of cards. Yes, Rickey's original stint in Oakland isn't represented, but I'm ok with how it turned out. If I someday end up with a 3rd rookie card (one for the set, one for the PC, and one left over), I could see it bumping out the '89TT. (Currently I only have one RC, residing in my 1980 Topps complete set.)

The Blue Jays card has me conflicted. On one hand, it's the only card on the page featuring Rickey doing his thing on the basepaths, but on the other hand, it's horizontal so it kinda upsets the feng shui of the page. But this was the only Blue Jays card in my Rickey PC, believe it or not, so it gets the call.. at least for now; I reserve the right to make adjustments to the Vagabond Binder as I see fit. Rickey got his 2nd WS ring with Toronto in '93, with his leadoff walk setting up Joe Carter's walk-off in the 9th inning of the deciding Game 6.

As a native San Diegan, my personal favorite Rickey is Padres Rickey. This card doesn't look great in the scan, but it's a good looking card in person. Then you got the Angels and Mets. I believe there were some brief returns to Oakland mixed in there, but for our purposes, the A's have already been accounted for.

Easy for fans to forget about his stints with the Mariners and Red Sox. But the binder's got 'em!

And finally, Rickey wrapped up his MLB career in Dodger blue. Looks good on 2003 Topps.

He still hung around the game after that, playing with the Newark Bears and San Diego Surf Dawgs. Had I needed to fill another pocket or two, I could have been open to cards from those stints. But the page is filled, so we're good.

And that'll do it for this entry. I plan to make this a recurring blog series and induct another player into the Vagabond Binder soon in a forthcoming post.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Awesome idea. Makes for a terrific Franken-Set. I'll have to remember To chunk those cards/players off to the side for you, like the Goose I just posted on yesterday as I update my PC's.

  2. The Octavio Dotel and Edwin Jackson pages should be fun.

  3. What a great idea. This will be a fun binder to flip through once you add more players. You're sure to get a lot of "Player X was on that team?" comments, which is cool.

  4. Along with what gregory said, I didn't know Rickey played for the Red Sox or finished his career with the Dodgers.
    I can think of two names for your binder, but I'm sure you have already done your research. Of the two I think Kenny Lofton might have the best selection.

  5. Rickey is definitely the right player to kick off this project. I actually saw him play when he was on Newark and brought home a foul ball from that game.

    I'd love to see a Lofton page. Bartolo Colon and Gary Sheffield would be interesting as well.

  6. I love this idea! Worked out that Rickey played for exactly nine different teams. I'd also be in favor of seeing a Kenny Lofton page (or pages, since he played on so many darn teams).

  7. I really like the 1989 Topps and Topps Traded side by side! This is a fun project and I look forward to seeing future vagabonds!

  8. This is a great idea! Edwin Jackson and Jesse Orosco and Mike Morgan could have 2 pages each!

  9. Cool project. I've actually been try to pick up a Rickey memorabilia card from all of the different teams he played for during his career.

  10. I've probably got some Royce Clayton dupes you can have. I've been on the verge of making Edwin Jackson a player collection myself for the same reasons. Lofton is OK, but the majority of his stuff is on the Indians.