Womack: Tom Henke’s early retirement might have cost him the Hall of Fame

From SABR member Graham Womack at The Sporting News on June 30, 2017:

In September 1995, Tom Henke capped a triumphant final season.

Pitching a single season for the Cardinals, near where he grew up in Missouri, Henke notched 36 saves with a 1.82 ERA, winning the Rolaids Relief Man Award. His 1.4 Wins Above Average that year are tied with Mariano Rivera for the fourth-best final season by a reliever in baseball history.

But before the season began, Henke had decided he would hang up his spikes at year’s end. In fact, Henke and his wife Kathy had discussed him retiring after a tough 1994 season with the Rangers in which he’d dealt with a back injury before players went out on strike in August.

“I told Kathy, I said, ‘You know what? I think I’m done. I’m tired of all the politics in baseball and all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes.’ I said, ‘I’d just as soon go home and be with the family,’” Henke told Sporting News in a phone interview from his Taos, Mo., home.

Read the full article here: http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/news/tom-henke-blue-jays-cardinals-rangers-stats-saves-best-closers-mlb-history-hall-of-fame/1dvq9xt8g8gnb1v18pq9t7omq4

Originally published: June 30, 2017. Last Updated: June 30, 2017.