On the mound, Henke was easily recognizable because of the large glasses he wore at a time when many players began to prefering using contact lenses. At a height of 6' 5", he cast an imposing figure and dominated batters with his fastball and forkball. Henke struck out 9.8 batters per 9 innings pitched over his career, an exceptional rate.
Over his career, he played for the Texas Rangers (1982-1984, 1993-1994), Toronto Blue Jays (1985-1992), and St. Louis Cardinals (1995). He was a large factor in the Toronto Blue Jays' successful run in the mid 80s and early 90s, which culminated in their first World Series championships in 1992.
Tom Henke was named to the All-star team twice: 1987, when he led the American League with 34 Saves and 62 games finished, and 1995, his last season, and only season in the National League, in which he also won the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award.
As of 2003, his 311 career saves were ranked 12th all-time on the career saves list.