The man with the otherworldly speed is about to break the legend’s record of stolen bases in the Minor Leagues. Billy Hamilton (Cincinnati Reds) is that man with the speed. The record that he is after is held by the legendary Vince Coleman of 145 stolen bases. Coleman accomplished the feat in 1983 while with Macon. Now, 29 years later, Hamilton on at the precipice of shattering that record. He sits, as of today, at 143. This is combined between Bakersfield (High A) and Pensacola (AA).
There has been an adjustment for Billy Hamilton after making the move up halfway through the season. Hamilton noted, “They work you more up here (in Class AA). They got better pickoff moves, they hold you better, the pitchers know when to slide-step, they’re smarter. I knew before I got here it would be a hard adjustment, but I feel like I’m doing pretty good.”
Pretty good indeed. Hamilton has slowed little by the change. He has stolen 39 bases in 37 games played. He is so confident. He said, “When I get to first, I’m confident I can’t be thrown out.”
Don’t you want that kind of thinking from your base runners? Well, okay, you want with those who have speed.
Billy Hamilton is fast approaching the legendary status of Coleman. Heck, he’s approaching the legendary status of John Henry and Johnny Appleseed all rolled up into one baseball player. Being the in the minors only adds to the folklore as few people get to see the exploits. However, when those who do see, Ken Griffey, Sr., Delino DeShields, and, well, me, can vouch for his abilities, there is credence to the foldlore.
It is only a matter of a game or two before Billy Hamilton is the steals leader. Cincinnati Reds’ fans are hoping it’s only a matter of September before he’s stealing the bases in GABP.