Former Dos Palos, A’s star Dave Henderson dies

The Associated Press

Fresno Bee Staff Photo

Former major league outfielder Dave Henderson has died after suffering a massive heart attack. He was 57.

Henderson died early Sunday morning at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to a statement from the Mariners, one of five teams Henderson played for in his career.

Henderson was best known for his home run in the 1986 AL Championship Series for Boston. With the Red Sox one strike from elimination in Game 5, Henderson hit a two-out, two-run homer in the top of the ninth against the California Angels to send the series back to Boston. The Red Sox won Games 6 and 7 to advance to the World Series.

Hendeson was born in Merced and grew up in Dos Palos. He was drafted in the first round by the Mariners in 1977 after a decorated high school football and baseball career as a Bronco.

Henderson was a three-year varsity player in football playing tight end, running back and strong safety. Henderson helped lead Dos Palos to Valley Championships in 1975 and 1976.

“Dave is pretty much a legend in Dos Palos for what he accomplished while he was there and what he went on to accomplish with the Oakland A’s,” said Tom Scheidt, who was the Broncos head coach from 1976 to 1987. “I know he gave back to the community and the Little League program. He was one of the best to ever come out of Dos Palos.”

Henderson and Stan Holmes, who went on to be named the College World Series MVP in 1981 while playing at Arizona State University, gave the Broncos baseball team a one-two punch in the middle of the order as they went on to win Valley Championships in 1976 and 1977.

“I was the jv baseball coach at the time and I remember going to some of their tournament games,” said Mike Sparks, who succeeded Scheidt as the Dos Palos football coach. “Dave and Stan did some unbelievable things. Dave was quite an athlete and he was known for that smile. He was always smiling. He was an easy guy to get a long with.”

Sparks remembers Henderson stopping by his football practices a few times and he would take time to talk to the kids.

“He would tell them that if you work hard you can get there from Dos Palos,” Sparks said.

Henderson’s baseball jersey (No. 22) and football jersey (44) are retired at Dos Palos. The baseball field at the high school is also named in his honor. He was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 2012.

Henderson was also inducted into the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.

Henderson began his career in Seattle and later played for Oakland, San Francisco, Boston and Kansas City. He was an All-Star in 1991 while with the Athletics.

Henderson hit .258 over his 14-year career with 197 home runs. In 1988 with the A’s, Henderson set career highs with a .304 average and 100 runs and 24 home runs.

In 36 postseason games, Henderson hit .298 with seven home runs, 20 RBIs and 24 runs.

Henderson is survived by his sons, Chase and Trent, his wife Nancy and his first wife Lori.

Merced Sun-Star sports reporter Shawn Jansen contributed to this story.