henderson rickeyOn June 24, 1979, 20-year-old future Hall of Famer, Rickey Henderson makes his major league debut for the Oakland A’s in the first game of a doubleheader, a 5-1 loss to Texas. Henderson picks up a single, a double, and his first stolen base in four at-bats against the Texas Rangers. Later in the season, he will become the youngest player to steal 3 bases in a game. He will not relinquish the leadoff spot again during his multiple tenors with the Oakland A’s.

Henderson’s feat came against a strong battery, the Texas Lefty John Henry Johnson and Jim Sundberg, Sundberg was in the middle of a stretch of 6 Gold Gloves and would throw out as many as 56% of would-be base stealers. Henderson’s theft was a sign of things to come as he will steal another 1,405 bases through his hall of fame career.    

Game Ticket 

Texas Rangers 5, Oakland Athletics 1 (1)

Game Played: Sunday, June 24, 1979 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
Time of Game: 2:35
Attendance: 4752

Line Score

TEX A 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 – 7 10 1
OAK A 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 – 2 9 0 

Umpires: HP – Mike Reilly, 1B – John Shulock, 2B – Terry Cooney, 3B – Bill Kunkel

Box Score

Starting Lineups

Rangers
1 Bump Wills 2B
2 Buddy Bell 3B
3 Pat Putnam 1B
4 John Ellis DH
5 Oscar Gamble RF
6 Billy Sample LF
7 Johnny Grubb CF
8 Jim Sundberg C
9 Larvell Blanks SS
John Henry Johnson P

Athletics
1 Rickey Henderson LF
2 Dave Chalk SS
3 Wayne Gross 3B
4 Jeff Newman 1B
5 Mike Heath C
6 Mitchell Page DH
7 Tony Armas CF
8 Mike Edwards 2B
9 Larry Murray RF
Matt Keough P

Play by Play

RANGERS 1ST: Wills singled to right; Bell grounded into a double
play (shortstop to second to first) [Wills out at second];
Putnam was called out on strikes; 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Rangers
0, Athletics 0.

ATHLETICS 1ST: Henderson doubled to right; Debut game for
Rickey Henderson; Chalk singled to right [Henderson to
third]; Putnam dropped a foul fly hit by Gross for an error;
Gross made an out to second; Newman hit into a double play to
right [Henderson out at home (right to catcher)]; 0 R, 2 H, 1 E,
1 LOB. Rangers 0, Athletics 0.

RANGERS 2ND: J. Ellis doubled to center; Gamble walked; Sample
out on a sacrifice bunt (pitcher to second) [J. Ellis to third,
Gamble to second]; Grubb was walked intentionally; Sundberg was
called out on strikes; Blanks flied out to left; 0 R, 1 H, 0 E,
3 LOB. Rangers 0, Athletics 0.

ATHLETICS 2ND: Heath grounded out (pitcher to first); Page
walked; Page was caught stealing second (catcher to second);
Armas walked; Edwards grounded out (second to first); 0 R, 0 H,
0 E, 1 LOB. Rangers 0, Athletics 0.

RANGERS 3RD: Wills grounded out (shortstop to first); Bell
walked; Putnam lined to right; J. Ellis grounded out (third to
first); 0 R, 0 H, 0 E, 1 LOB. Rangers 0, Athletics 0.

ATHLETICS 3RD: Murray made an out to second; Henderson singled
to left; Chalk flied out to right; Henderson stole second; Gross
flied out to center; 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 1 LOB. Rangers 0, Athletics
0.

RANGERS 4TH: Gamble grounded out (second to first); Sample
grounded out (third to first); Grubb grounded out (second to
first); 0 R, 0 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Rangers 0, Athletics 0.

ATHLETICS 4TH: Newman popped to catcher in foul territory; Heath
flied out to right; Page singled to left; Armas flied out to
center; 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 1 LOB. Rangers 0, Athletics 0.

RANGERS 5TH: Sundberg flied out to left; Blanks singled to
second; Wills singled to right [Blanks to second]; Bell singled
to left [Blanks to third, Wills to second]; Putnam singled to
center [Blanks scored, Wills scored, Bell to third]; J. Ellis
homered [Bell scored, Putnam scored]; Gamble singled to pitcher;
Sample flied out to center; Grubb singled to center [Gamble to
third, Grubb out at second (center to third to second to
first)]; 5 R, 7 H, 0 E, 1 LOB. Rangers 5, Athletics 0.

ATHLETICS 5TH: Edwards grounded out (second to first); Murray
popped to first in foul territory; Henderson flied out to right;
0 R, 0 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Rangers 5, Athletics 0.

RANGERS 6TH: Sundberg grounded out (shortstop to first); Blanks
flied out to center; Wills flied out to center; 0 R, 0 H, 0 E, 0
LOB. Rangers 5, Athletics 0.

ATHLETICS 6TH: NORMAN REPLACED BLANKS (PLAYING SS); Chalk
walked; Gross forced Chalk (first to shortstop); Newman grounded
out (first unassisted) [Gross to second]; Heath walked; Page
singled to center [Gross scored, Heath to third]; Armas popped
to third in foul territory; 1 R, 1 H, 0 E, 2 LOB. Rangers 5,
Athletics 1.

RANGERS 7TH: Bell flied out to left; Putnam grounded out (second
to first); J. Ellis grounded out (shortstop to first); 0 R, 0 H,
0 E, 0 LOB. Rangers 5, Athletics 1.

ATHLETICS 7TH: Edwards flied out to right; Murray struck out;
Henderson flied out to right; 0 R, 0 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Rangers 5,
Athletics 1.

RANGERS 8TH: Gamble walked; Sample grounded into a double play
(third to second to first) [Gamble out at second]; Grubb flied
out to left; 0 R, 0 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Rangers 5, Athletics 1.

ATHLETICS 8TH: Chalk singled to third; KERN REPLACED JOHNSON
(PITCHING); Gross singled to left [Chalk to second]; Newman
struck out; Heath flied out to center; Page flied out to center;
0 R, 2 H, 0 E, 2 LOB. Rangers 5, Athletics 1.

RANGERS 9TH: Sundberg flied out to right; Norman grounded out
(shortstop to first); Wills was called out on strikes; 0 R, 0 H,
0 E, 0 LOB. Rangers 5, Athletics 1.

ATHLETICS 9TH: WASHINGTON REPLACED GAMBLE (PLAYING CF); GRUBB
CHANGED POSITIONS (PLAYING RF); Armas grounded out (shortstop to
first); Edwards popped to first in foul territory; Murray flied
out to left; 0 R, 0 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Rangers 5, Athletics 1.