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Rickey, Tom, and Johan

Rickey Henderson's longevity was such that he faced both Tom Seaver and Johan Santana.

That's a pretty amazing link from Mets past to Mets present.

Rickey Henderson
Career vs...

Tom Seaver: 4-for-19, 2 RBI, 3 K
Johan Santana: 2-for-6, 3 RBI, 2 K

Henderson didn't face either in their prime, and it's interesting to see what those battles would have been like. His meetings with Seaver came when he was a prime pup and Seaver was grizzled, and nearing the end. His meetings with Santana came while the youngster was still finding what worked and what didn't.

The most significant date on which Seaver and Henderson went head-to-head was August 4, 1985.

This was the day in which Seaver won his 300th game, a complete-game six-hitter in a 4-1 victory at Yankee Stadium.

You could make the argument that the biggest key to this win was that Seaver kept Henderson, who was hitting .353 entering the game, off the bases. Henderson popped out to lead off the game, grounded out twice, and struck out with a man on base in the eighth inning. Henderson may have touched up Seaver for one of his 1,406 stolen bases in a prior meeting, but he wasn't going to steal the spotlight on Seaver's special day.

A little more than 17 years later, Santana could have used some advice from Seaver when he and the Twins faced the Red Sox in Minnesota. On August 17, 2002 the young lefty entered with only nine career victories. Henderson would be among those who would keep his tally in single digits.

Santana walked Henderson on four pitches to start that game, and paid the price in the form of a Johnny Damon double and a wild pitch, which scored Henderson with the game's first run.

Henderson would drive in Boston's second run via force out in the third inning, then single to fuel a rally in the fifth. A miscue by Twins first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz cost the Twins a run and put Santana three runs in arrears.

This would be the last time that Henderson and Santana met, though Santana would give the future Hall of Famer a glimpse of his potential while Henderson was perched on third base with one out.

To keep the score close, Santana stranded Henderson by striking out Nomar Garciaparra, and after a walk to Manny Ramirez, got Shea Hillenbrand to fly out to end the inning.

True Metdersons know...Santana has faced only one other current Hall of Famer- Cal Ripken Jr. who went 0-for-1 with a walk against him.


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