Cincinnati Reds Minor League SS Billy Hamilton Breaks Professional Record for Stolen Bases

By Bryn Swartz

It has been inevitable for several weeks but history was officially made on Tuesday night in a Double-A ballpark.

Cincinnati Reds minor league shortstop Billy Hamilton set the professional single-season record with his 146th stolen bases of the season.

Hamilton broke the 29-year old record set by Vince Coleman, who swiped 145 bases with the Macon Redbirds of the South Atlantic League in Class A ball in 1983. Coleman was caught 31 times that season. He also played in just 113 games, missing a month with an injury, and he batted .350 with a .431 on base percentage.

This season, Hamilton is batting .319 with a .417 on base percentage, while splitting time between the Bakersfield Blaze in Class A and the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in Class AA. He stole 104 bases at Class A and 42 in Class AA.

The 21-year old Hamilton swiped three bases tonight to break Coleman’s record. The team gave Hamilton the base after he broke the record. His mother was in the stands.

The major league Cincinnati Reds have not ruled out the possibility of calling up Hamilton when the major leagues expand to 40 players in September. It’s even a possibility that Hamilton could be placed on the postseason roster. The Reds are currently 74-49, the second best record in the National League, and 6.5 games ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National league Central.

Hamilton has a long way to go before he is in Coleman’s class as a major league base stealer. He stole 752 bases in 13 seasons, including more than 100 in each of his first three seasons.

This article was written by Bryn Swartz, the top writer for the Philadelphia Eagles and a featured NFL columnist on Rant Sports. Bryn has written more than 1000 articles in less than two years as a member of Rant Sports. His blog, Eagles Central, was named the 2010 Ballhyped Sports Blog of the Year. To read a portfolio of Bryn’s best work, click here.

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