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Steve Henderson
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Steve Henderson
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Steve Henderson
Steve Henderson
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 92 of 1043 players
Stephen Curtis Henderson
Born: November 18, 1952 at Houston, Tex.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Height: 6.01 Weight: 185

Steve Henderson was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on February 3, 2008, September 11, 2013, and May 23, 2016.


First Mets game: June 16, 1977
Last Mets game: October 5, 1980

Winner of National League Player of the Week award, July 31, 1977, June 8, 1980. (New York Mets)

Share your memories of Steve Henderson


Remember that home run he hit to win a game on Fireworks Night? Hendu!!!

I remember Henderson hitting a homer against a Cards pitcher by the name of Silvia or DeSilvia. That was the only hit and possibly the only base-runner that night for the Mets.

People also forgot he had 65 RBIs in only 81 games in '77. While he wasn't the sharpest tool in the tool- box and he never really developed into the player we hoped he would be, Hendu was a good guy.

Mike - I think the pitcher for St. Louis might have been Silvio Martinez but could be wrong. I remember reading an article in Sport magazine or a Street and Smith's annual which had as its slightly whimsical premise that Tom Seaver would best be remembered for having been traded for the Hall of Famer Steve Henderson. When you look at his short 1977 season, it's easy to see how you could get carried away. I am still as irritated that he lost the rookie of the Year award to Andre Dawson as I am about Ron Hunt losing it to Pete Rose.

March 30, 2001
Was that Fireworks night Homer against The Giants and Allen Ripley, I am not even a Mets fan but that Home Run was a cool moment

Mr. Sparkle
April 12, 2001
OK he wasn't worthy of being in the Seaver trade but you had to like Steve. He was pretty good on some of the worst teams of all time. In the late 70's there was him, Mazzilli and Stearns and that was it!

David Grover
May 25, 2001
I was at that fireworks night game. I belive they had "Hendu can do" on the scoreboard before he hit. Then they put "Hendu did do" after the hit.

June 8, 2001
He missed out on the Rookie of the Year award to Andre Dawson by one vote. He looked like he was going to be an exciting ballplayer. Never quite developed, though.

Traded to the Cubs for Dave Kingman.

Jersey Joe
August 3, 2001
The HR against the Giants is one of the most exciting Mets moments ever .... and I was very happy to see it acknowledged in the 25th Anniversary video.

I had a Little League game the next day and only one other guy on the team had also seen the end of the game. At a time where big time Mets moments were few and far between ... we thought it was the greatest HR ever !!!

Something that Yankee fans will NEVER understand.

Jim A
August 14, 2001
Loved Jersey Joe's comment on Steve Henderson's home run off Allen Ripley. You're right on. yankee fans will never understand. After all these years, I still believe that that was the most dramatic home run in Met history. They actually made a nice run for a very brief period that year.

August 14, 2001
I was at the game against the Giants. It was phenomenal. June, 1980 - Mets were almost .500 (something like 31-34) and the marketing theme that year was "The Magic is Back". John Stearns struck out with 2 out in the 8th with the score 6-2 and the bases loaded. A lot of people left the stands. THen the Mets rallied - I remember seeing the "Hendu Did Do" also on the large RF/CF scoreboard.

The Fireworks night HR must have been a different night. I think Hendu's first Met HR was to win an extra inning game in '77 against the Reds.

When they traded for him, Joe Torre said "this guy will be our left-fielder for the next 15 years" - didn't quite happen.

Joseph Schick
September 7, 2001
That fireworks homer was on June 14, 1980. I believe it was a three-run homer to win it 7-6. I was 7 years old and remember watching in on TV and going crazy when he hit it. The next day, I went with my dad and older brother to my first baseball game - unfortunately we got shut out.

neil m. greenberg
September 23, 2001
i remember when henderson first came to the Mets, had a habit of lifting his front leg when he swung, but still hit a ton...joe torre taught him how to hit without the step, and he never hit for power again...(yeah right, joe torre's a great manager...couldn't manage the Mets, braves or cardinals...i guess a $100 million dollar payroll makes him a great manager now)...poor hendu, should have had a nice ten year run with the Mets...hitting for average and power, with some steals in the

Jim Snedeker
November 19, 2001
I remember Steve being on Kiner's Korner and Ralph saying that a lot of people were comparing him to Willie Mays. Hendu simply replied "Thank you."

Problem is, even if you are humble, whenever you are compared to an immortal, it's the Kiss of Death. From that point on, I knew he would never live up to his potential.

I think if he had played with some good players, then he would have been all that much better. (Or, as Ralph might have said, he would have succeeded successfully.)

November 15, 2003
Always liked Henderson, I thought he was a real ballplayer. Seemed to love to play the game, no attitude and a very good hitter. May not have been a word king, but Hendu had good baseball sense; I don't remember him throwing to the wrong base, missing cut off men, signs and the like. Too bad he wasn't around in 86. Only real drawback (other than he was traded for Seaver) was a weak arm.

I heard he has had health problems of late, I certainly wish him well and remember him fondly.

November 27, 2003
I always had fond memories of Steve-he was always in the 12 home runs for the season range with over 60 rbis and I always thought he was one of our big stars back then along with Mazzilli and John Stearns.

December 2, 2003
Does anyone remember the Mets making a huge (4 runs or so) comeback against the Giants in, I think 1979? It ended with Hendu hitting a grand slam to right field and me ripping over a pillow that I happened to be holding at the time.

Bob P
December 6, 2003
Peter, there are lots of comments in the Steve Henderson's memory section on the home run!

The one you are referring to happened on Saturday night, June 14, 1980. The Giants led the Mets 6-1 in the bottom of the 8th. The Mets got one on an RBI single by Hendu to make it 6-2, then in the ninth with two outs and a runner at second they went: RBI single by Mazzilli, walk by Taveras, RBI single by Washington, 3-run HR by Henderson off RHP Allen Ripley.

Steven G
January 26, 2005
I was just at Mets fantasy camp and Steve Henderson was there, along with many Mets from the '70s. It was quite a thrill for me, as 1975 was the first year I followed the Mets when I was 7 years old.

Of course, I brought up the 3-run HR to beat the Giants in 1980 which at the time, for me, was my favorite Met moment.

During fantasy camp, every time I saw Steve Henderson, I would say to him, "Hendu can do," and he would always reply "try to," showing his humility that was referenced before.

Very nice man and a class act.

February 12, 2005
Simply put Steve Henderson hit one of the most dramatic home runs I have ever seen. I get chills to this day every time I see a clip of the home run off Allen Ripley. All baseball fans can appreciate such a great moment.

Jack in Floral Park
March 13, 2005
Agree with all of you. That home run is one of my top 10 Met moments. I was 9 and those years are the best as a fan. Back in the 70s and 80s, 12 homers was not bad, used to be 20 made you a home run hitter. I had heard Hendu was battling MS or something like that. He was a good guy on some rotten teams.

Lifelong Fan
July 9, 2005
The only bad thing about this guy was when he got into his head that all he wanted to do was hit line drives down the right field line.

August 18, 2005
One of my favorite Mets. I will always remember the home run Steve Henderson hit at the first Met game I ever went to, May 26, 1979 against the Pirates. I was 9 years old. The scoreboard lit up with his name. The Mets gave away real cheap rain jackets that night. Joel Youngblood also hit a home run that day and we won 10-8. Been a big fan ever since.

Harry G
August 18, 2005
I was 16 years old on June 14, 1980...Flag Day. We all had little American flags that they'd given out before the game.

I think Pete Falcone had started and was hit early, but the bullpen kept it from being a blowout. Come the 9th inning when the Mets rallied, me and my friends were sitting in the Upper Deck on the 1st base side rubbing our flags for good karma (I still have that flag). Hendu hits the home run and I go so crazy I throw my friend Gary down two rows of seat celebrating. Then it gets surreal....

After the home run the crowd was absolutely delerious as we headed for the 7 train for the long ride back to Brighton Beach. There was one gutsy SF fan wearing a Giants cap on the train and everybody was giving him grief, but in a good natured way. I was swept up in the moment...the excitement of the game...the patriotism on Flag Day...and it just came out. I'll never forget riding thru Flushing packed in on the 7 train while an entire train car sang God Bless America from Willets Point to Queens Plaza.

citywolf rich
January 9, 2006
I was 7 years old when he came to the Mets. I took his batting stance and made it my own, back to the pitcher stance. Since then I was rookie of the year as a teen in baseball and a career .700 hitter in softball. Thanks Steve, I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU.

Steve B.
January 15, 2006
I remember that home run that he hit against the Giants. If I remember correctly, he hit it into the rightfield bullpen. Allan Ripley...you guys have a great memory. I thought it was Greg Minton. I also remember a "laser" homer that he hit off of Steve Carlton. Lined it over the centerfield wall. It took two seconds to get out of the park. Hendu had talent. He was one of the few at that time.

Jonathan Stern
January 15, 2006
Played very well when he wasn't hurt. But he was often hurt. It's strange, but 1986 seems like forever ago to me, while, at the same time, Henderson and Dan Norman are still about to have their breakout years. Of course, not likely, since Henderson, last I saw, is now an MLB coach. Interesting, how many grads of Torre's late 70's Mets morgue went on to become managers and/or coaches.

June 9, 2006
Spring training game. Henderson is called out on strikes. The microphones were close enough to the field to pick up stray comments. Henderson said to the umpire "I think the sun got to your head, Bro!" These words were delivered in a voice I did not recognize as Steve Henderson's but it was Henderson who said it.

Paulie G
August 24, 2006
I remember we were all kind of shell-shocked after the Seaver trade, not the least Steve Henderson, who suddenly had huge expectations placed on him. The Mets management, trying to make the best of a bad situation, were really talking him up. I recall that he was brought onto Kiner's Korner shortly after the trade and he looked a bit like a deer in the headlights; it seemed like no matter what Ralph asked him, his reply was, "I'm just happy to be in the major leagues!"

His initial half-season provided some hope of stardom. My memory (I was only 11 at the time of the trade) was that he kind of tanked thereafter, but looking at his career stats now, he really remained a pretty good hitter. (Check out the MLB database, and note his on-base percentage -- the guy could work out a few walks.) But without a lot of power (and a weak throwing arm), he couldn't hold a regular full-time position as an outfielder for very long.

November 4, 2006
He's now a hitting coach for Tampa Bay. Good for him!

Bill Sherman
December 6, 2006
June 14,1980 was Flag Day. It was also the day I graduated from 8th Grade. The only gift I wanted was to go to Shea for the game. My father grumbled all the way about what a lousy team they are. Very quickly Mets were down 6-0. Looked like another losing game. Without warning (and against all odds) the Mets rallied and won on Steve Henderson's three run homer against Allen Ripley of the Giants. To this day I think it is the single most dramatic HR I have ever seen. Sure we have had bigger moments but for pure unexpected excitement it was unbelieveable. Anyway the next day Shea was sold out. Because the seats were being renovated that meant about 44,000. I can still see people sitting in trees outside the parking lot trying to look in. Unfortunately, Mike Krukow (Met killer) shut them out 3-0 and the 1980 season began to spiral downhill.

April 2, 2007
The home run against the Giants was the greatest moment in sports history. I was at a party where there were some people from Germany who could not speak English and had no idea what baseball was. We watched the last few innings when the Mets came back and they were jumping all over screaming and yelling. Great TV moment.

Bill Deegan
April 15, 2007
I had the good fortune to be at Shea on June 14, 1980 for Henderson's home run. An exciting memory not mentioned was the loud and reverberating chants of "Let's Go Mets" as people walked down the ramps inside Shea. It was one of my most memorable moments in my 46 years as a Mets fan.

September 23, 2007
Attended the Flag Day 1980 game with some friends from work. We snuck down to the box seats and sat on the left field line by the 9th inn. When he hit the ball into the Mets' pen, I remember the stands were shaking. To this day, this is the most exciting walk off HR I ever saw! Thanks Steve for doing your best and giving us a couple of good years when we had very little to root for. Hope you are well.

Dan Gurney
November 21, 2007
Henderson had some moments but the resemblance to Monte Irvin that Ralph Kiner said he saw was fleeting. Would he have developed into a better player if he wasn't traded for Seaver and if he wasn't on a terrible club?

October 21, 2008
Just found this page! Great to read all the shared memories. Hendu was a bright spot in some very dark years for us Mets fans.

That Flag Day homer was unbelievable. It was such an improbable comeback and the place went absolutely nuts, it was like it was the playoffs or something! No one wanted to leave, it seemed like we collectively were trying to make the magic of that one joyous moment last as long as possible.

I was with my two sisters and remember most vividly walking down the ramps with everyone still screaming and chanting Lets Go Mets. It was so loud that the ramp was literally vibrating.

I now live in the Tampa Bay area, and have been captivated since spring training by the talented young Rays team. Henderson is the hitting coach, and I am so happy for him that he now will be going to the World Series, along with another Mets favorite of mine, Cliff Floyd.

Pete H.
December 26, 2008
The HR Hendu hit against the Giants in '80 was a great moment because there was finally a sense around Shea that they were starting to turn things around with the new ownership. If you watch the old tapes of Hendu coming out of the dugout (actually I think they had to call him out of the clubhouse) to take a curtain call, you can see one of the "new" owners of the Mets, Fred Wilpon, give him a high five. It's these wonderful moments that you never forget that makes baseball so special.

May 5, 2009
Met Hendu at Fantasy Camp. He says every time he sees Seaver he thanks him for the trade. He acknowledges if he stayed in the Reds organization he would not have made the majors.

Very nice man.

Mr. Met of PA
April 26, 2010
Talked with Hendu at a Harrisburg Senators game. He was in town with the Reading Phillies serving as a minor league instructor. Very nice man and one of the very few bright spots on some bad Met teams.

O. B. White
October 9, 2017
Steve was among a group of players who joined the Mets in the infamous Tom Seaver trade of 1977. People say the Mets got nothing in return on the deal because it was for Seaver, but that’s not totally true. Henderson, along with Pat Zachry and Doug Flynn, actually gave the team some production. Steve finished second in the ’77 Rookie of the Year voting and compiled a career .287 batting average (a Met record back then) over the next three years. Meanwhile, Zachry was the Mets’ All-Star rep in ’78 and named Pitcher of the Month in July of ’80, the same season Flynn became a Gold Glove winner. Henderson and his two mates provided a bit of life at Shea Stadium during a decline stage for the team – a period that had begun by the time they arrived (the Mets were in last place already on June 15) and was bound to continue, even if Seaver had stayed.

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