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Former Red Sox Dave Henderson dies at 57

Dave Henderson is best remembered for his postseason heroics with the Red Sox in 1986.File/The Boston Globe

Dave Henderson, whose two-run homer in Game 5 of the 1986 American League Championship series propelled the Red Sox to an improbable comeback, has died, Major League Baseball confirmed. He was 57.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Dave Henderson," said Red Sox President Sam Kennedy. "His home run in Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS was a signature moment in Red Sox history, and we shared his unbridled joy when he hopped into the air as the ball cleared the fence in Anaheim.

"Hendu played just two seasons in Boston, but we always regarded him as one of us, and are grateful for the time we were able to enjoy his talent and infectious personality. Everywhere he went, Henderson made friends. He was a great ambassador for our game, and we have lost him far too soon."

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Henderson reached the World Series four times in his career, including 1988-90 with the Oakland A's, but he is best remembered for his postseason heroics with the Red Sox in 1986.

The Red Sox trailed the California Angels, 5-2, entering the ninth inning, and were behind in the series, 3-1. Don Baylor hit a two-run homer to cut the deficit to 5-4, but when Henderson came to bat, there were two outs, and security guards lined the stands in anticipation of a pennant celebration.

With Rich Gedman on first base, the count quickly went to 2-2, and California was one strike away from heading to the World Series. But Henderson answered with a deep shot to left field that put the Red Sox ahead, 6-5.

The Angels would even the score in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extra innings, where Henderson would deliver again in the 11th inning. With the score still tied 6-6, and Baylor at third with no outs, Henderson smacked a deep fly to center field to sacrifice Baylor in with what proved to be the winning run.

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The Red Sox would go on to win the ALCS and advance to the World Series before losing to the New York Mets in seven games.

A 14-year major league veteran, Henderson was acquired by the Red Sox from the Seattle Mariners in August 1986 and served primarily as a bat off the bench that season. In 111 regular season games for Boston in 1986 and 1987, he batted .226 with nine home runs and 28 RBI before being traded to the San Francisco Giants in September 1987.

In 1,538 career major league games with the Mariners (1981-86), Red Sox (1986-87), Giants (1987), Oakland Athletics (1988-93), and Kansas City Royals (1994), Henderson hit .258 with 197 home runs and 708 RBI. With Oakland in 1991, he was named to the American League All-Star Team. He hit .298 with seven home runs in 36 career postseason games


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