OAKLAND, MAY 30 -- It took Rickey Henderson less than 12 seasons to get past Ty Cobb. In the next two months, he's likely to surpass Lou Brock.

"I think I can get 1,200 to 1,500 if I stay healthy," Henderson said after breaking Cobb's American League record for career stolen bases Tuesday night in Oakland's 2-1 loss to Toronto.

With 893 steals, Henderson is 45 shy of Brock's all-time record. Billy Hamilton, who stole 937 bases playing before the turn of the century, is the only other player with more steals than Henderson.

Asked how much more time he will need to break Brock's record, Henderson said: "Two months."

But for the past week, Henderson's attention has been on the record held by Cobb, a player he knew little about as a youngster but came to appreciate during his initial years in professional baseball.

"I really didn't hear much about Ty Cobb as I was growing up," Henderson said. "I think I learned a lot about Ty Cobb during the meetings we used to have in spring training. We used to show some clippings of certain great baseball players, great base-stealing guys, the guys who were great hitters.

"I picked up the guys that would steal a lot of bases because it was a field I wanted to go into."

Breaking Cobb's record at the Oakland Coliseum was important to Henderson, but his chances were looking poor.

After tying Cobb at 892, Henderson went zero for six and was hit by a pitch, but never got a chance to steal. Oakland was scheduled to head back on the road after one more game that was placed in doubt by weather reports.

"To me, things took longer than I expected," Henderson said. "I had only one more day at home and I was starting to put pressure on myself because I wanted to do it in front of my home fans, especially in front of my mother."

So when Henderson doubled with two outs in the sixth, he needed only two pitches before getting one he could steal on.

Henderson said he'll give the base he stole to tie Cobb to his mother, Bobbie. The base for the record-setting steal will go to Milwaukee Manager Tom Trebelhorn, who managed Henderson during his first two years in the minor leagues in 1976-77.

"I promised him the base years ago because me helped me out my first two years," Henderson said. " . . . I think he deserves it."

Player, League .............. Yrs. .........Stl.

1. Lou Brock, NL ............. 19 ......... 938

2.*a-R. Henderson, AL ........ 11+ ........ 893

3. Ty Cobb, AL ............... 24 ......... 892

4. Eddie Collins, AL ......... 25 ......... 743

5. Max Carey, NL ............. 20 ......... 738

6. Honus Wagner, NL .......... 21 ......... 722

7. Joe Morgan, NL ............ 22 ......... 689

8. Bert Campaneris, AL ....... 19 ..........649

9.*a-Tim Raines, NL .......... 11+ ........ 601

10. a-Willie Wilson, AL ...... 14+ ........ 597

11. Maury Wills, NL .......... 14 ......... 586

*a-Active; statistics through Tuesday's games.