Friday, February 22, 2008

Most SB in a Season with 0 CS

The National League didn't start recording caught stealings (CS) until 1951. The American League has recorded CS every season since 1920. It seems kind of odd that in an era when most catchers couldn't hit there wasn't any data (in the NL) on who was the best at throwing out would-be basestealers. Surely reputations were formed and there were guys you simply didn't run against, but I'd think the numbers would be there if only for owners to punish substandard throwers with another reason for a pay cut. In any event, it wasn't a big deal for a while: from 1931 until the end of World War II, no National Leaguer stole more than 28 bases in a season.

My last post was about a record for futility so I want to reach to the other extreme today. From 1920 to 2007 in the AL and 1951 to 2007 in the NL, only thirty-one players have stolen at least ten bases in one season without getting caught once. Note the number shrinks if you take strike-shortened seasons out. I haven't because I think it's a sort of cool accomplishment even in a shorter season, but any of the players on the list from those years could certainly have been thrown out if they had an extra couple months.

Most Stolen Bases in a Season, 0 Caught Stealings
  1. Kevin McReynolds, 1988, 21
  2. Paul Molitor, 1994, 20
  3. Gary Thurman, 1989, 16
  4. Jimmy Sexton, 1982, 16
  5. Davey Lopes, 1984, 15
  6. Terry Shumpert, 1999, 14
  7. Sean Berry, 1994, 14
  8. Carlos Beltran, 2000, 13
  9. Desi Relaford, 2000, 13
  10. Rex Hudler, 1995, 13
  11. Tim Raines, 1994, 13
  12. Lee Tinsley, 1994, 13
  13. Tom Tresh, 1964, 13
  14. Leon Culberson, 1943, 13
  15. David Dellucci, 2003, 12
  16. Paul Molitor, 1995, 12
  17. Fred Lynn, 1980, 12
  18. Miguel Dilone, 1977, 12
  19. Albert Belle, 1996, 11
  20. Joe Carter, 1994, 11
  21. Tony Bernazard, 1982, 11
  22. Johnny Bench, 1975, 11
  23. Jesse Hill, 1936, 11
  24. Mark Teahen, 2006, 10
  25. Miguel Tejada, 2003, 10
  26. Jim Eisenreich, 1995, 10
  27. John Jaha, 1992, 10
  28. Frank Duffy, 1976, 10
  29. Dan Meyer, 1976, 10
  30. Red Wilson, 1958, 10
  31. Charlie Gehringer, 1940, 10
Stephen Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury just missed out on joining the list last season. Each of them had nine stolen bases; Ellsbury reached that mark in just 33 games. I'd also be remiss if I didn't note that Carlos Beltran stole 28 bases without being caught in 90 games with Houston in 2004. Of course, he'd been thrown out three times with Kansas City earlier in the season, but still.

Pointless factoid: Barry Bonds is 21 of 22 in stolen base attempts in the last five seasons. That's the highest success rate (95.5%) of anyone to attempt 20 or more steals over that time span. I guess he picks his moments well. Second place belongs to Nate McLouth (34 of 36, 94.4%). After those two the percentage dips to 88.7% (Carlos Beltran, 141 of 159).


Anonymous said...

Strong Royals factor at the top of that list. I count 6 of the top 9 as having played for KC.

Anonymous said...

To link your last two entries, how about something on futile SB attempts.

When caught stealing on September 28th, 2006, Juan Rivera logged his 13th consecutive unsuccessful attempt. In looking through the records, he may be approaching a record, but I’ve heard little about it. Here’s the other contenders, as best as I can determine, a list as complete as I can make since 1920 using retrosheet and other sources:

Chris Cannizzaro 14, 1964-1970
Pete Runnels 13 (could be longer), 1951-52. Runnels started his career with 13 straight and was caught 4 more times, with 3 SB, in 1953. So his maximium is 17.
Eddie Yost 13, 1957-58
Zeb Terry 12 (could be longer), 1920-21. Terry had 12 consecutive to start the 1921 season before succeeding. In 1920 he was caught 16 times in 28 attempts. He also was caught 11 times in 13 attempts in 1922, for a 10 percent sb% in 1920-22
Jay Buhner 12 1990-93

Some other possibilities:
Charlie Jamieson, 5 SB in 30 attempts from 1928-29
Joe Sewell, 3 SB in 19 attempts in 1927
Red Kress, 6 SB in 28 attempts in 1930-31
Bill Knickerbocker, 7 SB in 33 attempts in 1935-36
Eddie Mayo 4 SB in 20 attempts in 1947-48.
Larry Gardner 3 SB in 23 attempts in 1920
Hod Ford 1 SB in 13 attempts in 1924-25
Bobby Doerr 6 SB in 26 attempts in 1938-39

So, Juan could very well be 2 away from breaking the record. Injured for most of 2007, he did not attempt a steal. He signed with the Angels this year, so keep your eyes on Juan Rivera this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if Runnels or Terry had the record though. If anyone else has more info, I'd be interested.

TheJay said...

Anon 7:28, interesting point about the Royals. Only Thurman and Beltran were actually on the Royals in the season for which they appear on the list, but it's interesting how many found there way there.

Anon 8:02, thanks for sharing that about Juan Rivera. I'll definitely keep my eye on him next season. Those are some horrible numbers in your second list. Oh, the futility!

Tom said...

Looks like Utley sets the record tomorrow.