• Beloved Mariners player, broadcaster Dave Henderson dies

    By: KIRO 7 STAFF

    Updated:

    Dave Henderson, who played 14 seasons in the major leagues and hit one of the most famous home runs in postseason history, died early Sunday morning at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle following a massive heart attack, Seattle Mariners staff said.

    He was 57 years old.

    “On behalf of the Seattle Mariners, I want to extend our deepest sympathies to Chase and Trent and Nancy and to Dave’s many friends,” Seattle Mariners team president Kevin Mather said in a statement.  “He was a devoted father to his two sons and always willing to help someone in need.”

    Henderson is survived by his sons, Chase and Trent, his wife Nancy, thousands of friends. His first wife, Loni, also survives him.

    Henderson was born July 21, 1958, in Merced, California. He graduated from Dos Polos High School in 1977, and the school later retired his football and baseball numbers.

    He was the Seattle Mariners' first draft pick, taken 27th overall in the first round of the 1977 draft, and made his debut with the Mariners on April 9, 1981.

    He played with Seattle until being traded to Boston in 1986, went to San Francisco in 1987, Oakland in 1988 and Kansas City in 1994. Henderson’s career included four trips to the World Series with Oakland and Boston.

    In 1986, with the Red Sox one strike from elimination in Game 5 of the 1986 American League Championship, Henderson hit a two-strike, two-out, two-run home run in the top of the ninth to help send the series back to Boston for Game 6. The Red Sox won Game 6 and Game 7 to advance to the World Series.

    Following his playing career, Henderson was active in real estate, worked with baseball players as an agent, spent a decade as a broadcaster for the Seattle Mariners -- from 1997-2006, and again in 2011 -- and ran fantasy baseball camps for A’s and Mariners fans in Arizona.

    Henderson cared deeply for his family and his community, and Mariners staff said he raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support research into Angelman Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects his son, Chase. He also one of the founders of Rick’s Toys For Kids, a charity that provides Christmas gifts for thousands of children who otherwise wouldn’t receive one.

    “Dave was one of the most popular Mariners in our history, but Dave was also one of the most popular player’s in Red Sox and A’s history,” Mather said. “He had a special ability to connect with people, both inside the game and in the communities in which he lived. I never saw him at the ballpark, or on the golf course, without a big smile on his face.”

    Information from the Seattle Mariners is included in this obituary.


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