07/21/07 4:25 PM ET
Notes: Henderson's rockin' past
Mets first-base coach named after musician Ricky Nelson
By Marty Noble / MLB.com
If, when Henderson played, he had a recording played each time he approached the plate as players do now, his could have been "I'm Walkin'," a song co-written and recorded by Fats Domino and covered by Ricky Nelson in 1957.
The latter version would have delighted Henderson's mother, Bobbie, because she was a Ricky Nelson devotee and named her son after Ozzie and Harriet's second son. Indeed, Henderson's middle name is Nelson, though in many reference materials, it is listed as Henley.
The explanation: Henderson was born on Christmas Day, 1958 in Chicago -- more specifically, in the back seat of a '57 Chevy. His father's name was John L. Henley.
When Bobbie and John brought their newborn son home, they hadn't chosen a name for him.
"The only name on my birth certificate," Henderson said, "was Henley, no first name."
Bobbie Henderson eventually decided on Rickey Nelson Henley for her son. To this day, Henderson has no idea why his first name is spelled with an E.
John Henley was killed in truck accident when Henderson was 12 years old. Bobbie remarried when her son was a junior in high school. She married Paul Henderson. Henderson became the surname of the man who last week became the Mets' first-base coach, and Henley essentially morphed into his middle name, displacing Nelson.
Not surprisingly, Henderson isn't particularly familiar with the work of the late rock and roll legend, though he can knock out a few lyrics from "Hello Mary Lou." He concedes Nelson produced more albums, but Henderson is proud to say he has more hits.
Hello Alou: Moises Alou will be back in New York before the Mets return to Shea Stadium on Tuesday night. He is to play for the Brooklyn Cyclones on Sunday. And chances are he will be in uniform with the Mets on Tuesday night, when they begin their series against the Pirates. Assigned to the disabled list since mid-May because of a strained left quad, Alou has five hits in 15 at-bats with the Gulf Coast Mets.
7-7-7: The bottom of the first inning Saturday -- July 21, 2007, or 7-7-07 -- came two weeks too late. Rafael Furcal, Juan Pierre and Russell Martin flied out to left.
If at first: The Mets scored in the first inning on Saturday, as they had in the first two games of the series, both victories. The Dodgers' record in games in which they have scored first is 36-7, the best, by percentage, in the game. But they entered Saturday with a .333 winning percentage in the 54 games in which their opponents have scored first. Through Friday, the Mets had a 38-15 record in games in which they had scored first.
Friday followup: Oliver Perez retired all 10 batters he faced with runners on base Friday night, and all six he faced with runners in scoring position. The lone run he allowed in gaining his ninth victory came on a leadoff home run by Nomar Garciaparra in the second inning. In Perez's five most recent starts, opposing hitters are batting .143 with runners on base and .105 with runners in scoring position.
This date in Mets history: Six weeks removed from a franchise-record 17-game losing streak, the Mets were in another freefall at this time in 1962. They were swept in a doubleheader by the Reds at Crosley Field, with Roger Craig and Al Jackson, respective 24-game and 20-game losers by the end of the season, the pitchers of record in 11-4 and 4-3 losses. The Mets were in the midst of a 7-31 sequence that put their record 53 games under .500.
In the most extraordinary game in their extraordinary 1986 season, the Mets defeated the Reds, 6-3, in 14 innings in Cincinnati. A three-run home run by Howard Johnson was decisive, but secondary in what made this game so memorable. Roger McDowell, the winning pitcher, played left field and right field, leaving the mound in the 11th inning and returning in the 13th. Jesse Orosco also moved to the outfield twice after pitching.
The Mets executed a brilliant 3-5-4 double play in the 12th, when Keith Hernandez fielded a bunt in front of the mound, threw to Gary Carter, who was playing third for a forceout, and then watched Carter make a strong throw to first for the second out.
The usual defensive assignments were made necessary after third baseman Ray Knight and right fielder Kevin Mitchell were ejected following an incident between Knight and Eric Davis in the 10th inning. Extra innings became necessary when Reds right fielder Dave Parker dropped what would have been the final out in a nine-inning, 3-1 Reds victory. His unsuccessful "snatch catch" allowed two runs to score.
Swiftly: Comedian Elayne Boosler introduced the Mets' batting order on the FOX telecast Saturday, and said this about Jose Reyes. "He's so fast he passed himself at second base last night."
Coming up: Orlando Hernandez makes his third career start on the steep-slope mound of Dodger Stadium, his second this season, on Sunday afternoon at 4:10 ET. Hernandez has lost the first two, the second coming June 11. The Dodgers have yet to announce their starter.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.