Since 1954, baseball has seen a total of 18 occurrences where one player steals at least five bases during one game. We’ve seen two this week. Last week Dexter Fowler took five against the Dan Diego Padres and on Sunday, Carl Crawford stole six against the Boston Red Sox.
So let’s talk about stealing five or more bases from a historical aspect.
Eric Young pulled the feat twice, once in 1996 and once in 2000. Kenny Lofton also took five in 2000, about three weeks earlier then Scarborough Green – who? – nabbed five against Seattle in 2000. Otis Nixon snagged six against Montreal in 1991. Ryan Freel managed five in 2005. Willy Tavares took a handful against the White Sox last season as well.
Most of the accomplished players were center fielders or middle infielders, but there are a few corner outfielders who pulled the trick, including Tony Gwynn, Rickey Henderson, and Alex Cole, the only player besides Young to steal five twice, and the only to do so while playing two different positions. Damian Jackson is the only player to manage from a lineup slot lower than third, during his game he batted 8th.
12 of the 19 happened at the player’s home park. I would’ve expected the number to be a bit higher honestly. You always hear jokes (most of the time) about how teams water down the basepaths a little extra when a known speedster is in town. Having the homefield advantage certainly can’t hurt, unless of course your team is winning
As you may have guessed, 2000 was the year of five+ steals. No other season has two cases, let alone three. Although, it seems like 2009 could be the season to knock 2000 off the throne, especially since Fowler gets to feast on Chris Young a few more times.