Ever heard of Jonathan Villar? Most people haven’t. He’s a rookie member of the last place Houston Astros, who only had seven big league games under his belt entering Tuesday night’s game. Villar would put his stamp firmly on this game and gain the attention of baseball fans across the country,though, as he stole home on Baltimore Orioles pitcher Wei-Yin-Chen.
I figured that stealing home was a much more elite club, but to my surprise, it looks like it used to be a pretty common feat. You don’t see it much anymore, but there are a lot of strategies that come and go over time in baseball.
The undisputed king of stealing home is Ty Cobb (54). Cobb played from 1905 to 1928 and swiped 897 bases during his career, good for fourth all-time.
According to the Baseball Almanac, there are 38 players in MLB history who have stolen home at least ten times. Notable members of this group include: Honus Wagner (27), Jackie Robinson (19), Lou Gehrig (15), Paul Molitor (10) and most surprising of all, Babe Ruth (10).
Although there are records of stealing home, it’s not an officially recorded statistic. It’s just counted as a regular stolen base and it’s not tallied on its own. But that’s why we have statisticians.
It’s good to see a rookie coming into the league that’s already being aggressive to the point of stealing home. With the lack of power in today’s game, it would be nice for the fans if things like stealing home became a more regular occurrence.
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