Sunday, November 15, 2009

All Good Things...

I don't want to be sucked into an excuse-making apologia, so I'll be blunt: you've undoubtedly noticed a lack of regular updates on this blog, stretching back over a period of months. While I still enjoy the obscure minutia of baseball history, and I do still write occasionally at Brew Crew Ball, I am not able to devote as much time to research as I used to. Call it a lack of inspiration, a dwindling of desire, or whatever you will, but it's time to give up the illusion that I'll post regularly again.

If you've got questions or comments about previous posts or have something you want me to research, drop me a line. It's worth noting that my top research tool over the past few years has been the Play Index. It has expanded greatly over time and features a free trial until November 20th, so play around and see what you can find.

Thanks for reading and providing input over the past two years.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

60+ Steals of Second Base

Since 1898*, only four players have stolen 100 bases in a season. Maury Wills swiped 104 bags in 1962, Lou Brock took 118 in 1974, and Rickey Henderson and Vince Coleman did it multiple times in the 1980s. Of those four speedsters, only Lou Brock had at least 100 steals of second base in that season. In fact, a stunning 112 of his 118 swipes were of second base.

Below is the leaderboard of the most steals of second base in a season since 1954.

RankNameYear2B SBTotal SB
1Lou Brock1974112118
2Rickey Henderson198294130
3Omar Moreno19809196
4Maury Wills196286104
5Vince Coleman198785109

Tim Raines19838590
7Rickey Henderson198082100
8Ron LeFlore19808097
9Rickey Henderson198379108

Willie Wilson19797983
11Vince Coleman198578110

Maury Wills19657894
13Vince Coleman198676107

Rudy Law19837677
15Tim Raines19827478
16Omar Moreno19797377

Ron LeFlore19797378
18Rickey Henderson19867287

Lou Brock19667274
20Tim Raines19847175

Dave Collins19807179
22Willie Wilson19806979
23Rickey Henderson19856580

Davey Lopes19756577
25Eric Davis19866480

Tim Raines19856470
27Tony Womack19996372

Omar Moreno19786371

Ron LeFlore19786368

Lou Brock19736370
31Jose Reyes20076278

Rickey Henderson19886293

Joe Morgan19756267

Mickey Rivers19756270
35Kenny Lofton19936170

Joe Morgan19736167
Chone Figgins20056062

Scott Podsednik20046070

Brian Hunter19976074

Tim Raines19866070

Juan Samuel19846072

Lonnie Smith19826068

Tim Raines19816071

Billy North19766075

Retrosheet data splitting players' stolen bases out by base only goes back to 1954, so early twentieth-century basestealers like Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins, Clyde Milan, and Bob Bescher are unfortunately ignored. It is likely at least one of them (and/or another player) belongs somewhere on the above list.

* - the modern definition of the stolen base did not come into being until 1898. For more information about the change in definition over time, the wikipedia entry on the stolen base rule's evolution is here.