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The Lost Art of the Stolen Base

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These images are of a time when the stole base was as important as the home run. These were the table setters who disrupted the pitcher no matter how good the pitcher was. No pitcher whether it was Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, Ron Guidry, Jim Palmer, Nolan Ryan, Jim Catfish Hunter ever wanted to see a base stealer on first base.  Maury Wills was the modern day father of the stolen base he was the alltime leader of 104 in one season.(1962) until Lou Brock came along a broke that record with 118 (1974) and that was the record until Rickey Henderson shattered that record 130 stole bases (1982) Teams seems to have at least two base stealers the Astros had Cesar Cedeno and Jimmy Winn, the Cardinals had Willie Mc Gee and Vince Coleman, the Pirates had Omar Moreno and Frank Taveras even the Mets had Mookie Wilson and Lee Mazzilli and even their catcher John Stearns stole bases(25 in 1978).

My Point is the stolen base was a tool in a team arsenal, it was used to dispute the pitcher and it moved the runner to second, in some cases to third. In the rare exception…stole home (Rod Carew stole home 7 times 1969). You would follow a player’s stats and one of those stats would be the stolen bases. But it is 2015 and where are the stolen base leaders, does any one even know? Do the fans care like they used to? As some one once said Home Run Hitters drive Cadillacs. So does the stolen base matter anymore? how about you the fans? Is it something you still get excited about?

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2 Comments

  1. Nice post Jerry!!! You are so right. It’s a list art which has gone the way of the bunt, another part of the game not nearly implemented enough. It’s all about the long ball for the most part. And do you know who benefits the most from the lack of stolen bases in baseball? Yep, the opposing pitchers…

    • bklynboy59 says:

      Hey how did you know I was going to write about the bunt next? LOL steroids big contracts took out the stolen base and the issues that basestealers all suffer from…hamstring injuries which keeps them on the shelf and off the field way to long for Managers and General Managers alike

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