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Thread: Who are the smartest base stealers ever?

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9RoyHobbsRF View Post
    lol

    a senior award winning writer and editor of SI who in some opinions wrote one of the top ten sports books of all time, and wrote about a legend willie mays and you are just trying to discredit eveything, mays, the story, the author

    and people wonder why baseball fever gets ridiculed
    Yes just the other day at my grocery store I overheard a group of teens pouring Slush Puppies on a harmless user of BBF.

    A story I heard from "When It Was a Game" (available on Youtube): Standing on third, Mays panted after just reaching on a triple. He smiled at Jim Lefebvre, who was holding the relay ball. Mays then looked at the ground with hands on his hips, still smiling and panting. A careless Lefebvre did the same. When he looked up, Mays was halfway to third.

    I think I butchered that story. The point is that Mays on third became Mays at home after enticing Lefebvre into friendly exchanges. The details escape me.
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  2. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrus4189Cobb View Post
    Yes just the other day at my grocery store I overheard a group of teens pouring Slush Puppies on a harmless user of BBF.

    A story I heard from "When It Was a Game" (available on Youtube): Standing on third, Mays panted after just reaching on a triple. He smiled at Jim Lefebvre, who was holding the relay ball. Mays then looked at the ground with hands on his hips, still smiling and panting. A careless Lefebvre did the same. When he looked up, Mays was halfway to third.
    That's not smart baserunning.

    Good story. I could imagine it happening.

  3. #28
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    Fisk as stated here seems to be a smart base stealer. He took advantage of his non-existant speed, while stealing bases. Who else?
    "I am not too serious about anything. I believe you have to enjoy yourself to get the most out of your ability."-
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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9RoyHobbsRF View Post
    lol

    a senior award winning writer and editor of SI who in some opinions wrote one of the top ten sports books of all time, and wrote about a legend willie mays and you are just trying to discredit eveything, mays, the story, the author

    and people wonder why baseball fever gets ridiculed
    I'm not sure you understand the words you are using and the words other people use. Where did I discredit Blount or Willie Mays? What I did say was that I'm sure this happened but that I doubt it was a common thing.

  5. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by yankillaz View Post
    Fisk as stated here seems to be a smart base stealer. He took advantage of his non-existant speed, while stealing bases. Who else?
    Kevin McReynolds perhaps. More of a power hitter, but went 35-1 over a two year span.

    Jeff Bagwell and Chipper Jones each have fewer than 40 triples but stole some bases.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by brett View Post
    Kevin McReynolds perhaps. More of a power hitter, but went 35-1 over a two year span.

    Jeff Bagwell and Chipper Jones each have fewer than 40 triples but stole some bases.
    I remember that Reynolds season. It was in 1988, when he stole 21 bases without getting caught, a record for a season. Lot of potential there. Was it due to his smarts?
    "I am not too serious about anything. I believe you have to enjoy yourself to get the most out of your ability."-
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  7. #32
    I think Tim Raines and Eric Davis deserve mention. From 1981 to 1987 Tim Raines was successful in 504 out of 578 SB attempts. That is an 87.2% success rate. And if we're talking about career figures, Eric Davis owns a 84.1 success rate (349 SB out 415 attempts in a 17 yr career). But I'm especially impressed with Raines considering the very high volume of bases he had stolen during the 80s. Think about it. All those stolen bases combined with that kind of success rate must've made him waaay better than he was generally perceived at the time.
    Last edited by rsuriyop; 09-08-2012 at 02:05 AM.
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  8. #33
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    A genius in spikes.cobbphoto-genius in spikes.jpg
    Eradicate, wipe out and abolish redundancy.

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  9. #34
    I think to be considered really good at running you must have percentage and also a high number.

    for example a lot of guys have high percentages because they only steal in perfect spots (against the slowest batteries and for example first and third). It's much harder to do if you also steal against guys like molina and everyone knows you are running. but on the other hand running reckless every time no matter what is not good running either. so a great runner can steal in a lot of situations and still at a high percentage.
    I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and cant run, most of the time hes clogging up the bases for somebody who can run. Dusty Baker.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsuriyop View Post
    I think Tim Raines and Eric Davis deserve mention. From 1981 to 1987 Tim Raines was successful in 504 out of 578 SB attempts. That is an 87.2% success rate. And if we're talking about career figures, Eric Davis owns a 84.1 success rate (349 SB out 415 attempts in a 17 yr career). But I'm especially impressed with Raines considering the very high volume of bases he had stolen during the 80s. Think about it. All those stolen bases combined with that kind of success rate must've made him waaay better than he was generally perceived at the time.
    Good call on Davis. He was incredibly gifted and talented. I thought he was going to be a first ballot hall of famer but it was not to be....

  11. #36
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    Did some playing around with PBP files and this is what I found for 1965.

    In 1965 there were 15 situations in which Willie Mays hit a single with McCovey on deck and less than 2 outs. In those 15 situations Willie ended up stealing second base while McCovey was batting 4 times. McCovey hit into a double play twice, forced out Mays another time, and was walked twice despite having Willie on base. In the 4 times that McCovey made an out without removing Mays Willie did not steal a base though there was one situation in which he got picked off first base but in the ensuing run down an error was committed and Mays ended up on third.

    If Willie was holding up at first to let Willie bat then why did he steal a base over 25% of the time when McCovey was up? Why did he never attempt to steal a base when McCovey failed to get on base?

  12. #37
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    A. J. Pierzynski - he stole first base to win a playoff game. Who else can make that claim?
    "Only twice in my life has the hair on the back of my neck stood up straight. The first time was when I saw Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel. The second time was when I saw Sandy Koufax's fastball" - Al Campanis.

  13. #38
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    carlos beltran is the best ever.

  14. #39
    My vote goes to Rickey Henderson at the end of his career. He had 66 SB's at the age of 39 while being caught only 13 times. At that point in his career he was doing it all on timing, smarts and cunning.

  15. #40
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    I always thought that Davey Lopes was a smart and good baserunner

  16. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by JR Hart View Post
    I always thought that Davey Lopes was a smart and good baserunner
    3and2 fastball's post about Ricky made me think exactly the same thing.
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  17. #42
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    Paul Molitor was a superb between-the bases base runner. In 1987 he played only 118 games yet lead the A.L. with 114 runs scored! Yowsa!

  18. #43
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    Pretty compelling case for Coco Crisp - from an article in Baseball Prospectus :

    Painting the Black
    The Unimaginable Base-Stealing Genius of Coco Crisp
    by R.J. Anderson


    When Coco Crisp stepped to the plate last season, his walk-up song was “Who Gon Stop Me." The chorus served as a legitimate question once Crisp reached base. Not many have showed the ability to stop Crisp in recent seasons. He went 39-for-43 on stolen base attempts in 2012, pushing his three-year total to 120 steals in 136 attempts. That’s an 88 percent success rate on 45 attempts per season. None of the six other players with at least 45 attempts since 2010 succeeded more than 83 percent of the time. Rickey Henderson never had a three-year rate of more than 86 percent throughout his career.

    The highest levels of baseball performance tend to have impressive streaks built in. Crisp’s basestealing in recent years has two worth noting. From July 10, 2011, until June 21, 2012, Crisp stole 36 consecutive bases without failure. Ignore pickoffs and Crisp’s streak creeps into August 2012 and encompasses another 15 steals. (The only catcher to stop Crisp in 2012 was Jose Lobaton.) Those high levels of performance leave us bewildered and curious. How is it that Crisp—who had a career 74 percent success rate prior to 2010—has turned into the league’s most efficient and prolific thief? Is it with Billy Hamilton-like speed, or Henderson-like wits and hubris*, or something else?

    I watched each of Crisp’s stolen base attempts in 2012 in an effort to find out. My initial plan was to write descriptions of each attempt while timing the pitcher and catcher, then to assign blame to the slow one in the battery. Yet by the time I finished reviewing Crisp’s final 10 stolen bases on the year (I worked backward), it was clear that the catcher was rarely at fault. Opposing backstops managed throws on just three of those final 10 steals, leaving Crisp to swipe seven bags without a challenge. On the season, Crisp stole 20 of his 39 bases without a throw, including four double-steal situations.

    As part of the review process, I kept track of a few variables along with the throw. Most notably, I reported the trigger on each attempt. If Crisp took off before the pitcher started his delivery, it was typically after a glance or two, so I recorded it as Crisp running on the look. If the pitcher had begun his delivery by the time Crisp took off, then it went down as Crisp running on the move. Here are the results in full:
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    Chris Rock

  19. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    Did some playing around with PBP files and this is what I found for 1965.

    In 1965 there were 15 situations in which Willie Mays hit a single with McCovey on deck and less than 2 outs. In those 15 situations Willie ended up stealing second base while McCovey was batting 4 times. McCovey hit into a double play twice, forced out Mays another time, and was walked twice despite having Willie on base. In the 4 times that McCovey made an out without removing Mays Willie did not steal a base though there was one situation in which he got picked off first base but in the ensuing run down an error was committed and Mays ended up on third.

    If Willie was holding up at first to let Willie bat then why did he steal a base over 25% of the time when McCovey was up? Why did he never attempt to steal a base when McCovey failed to get on base?
    Does this not include when Mays walked?

  20. #45
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    Vince Coleman's first 3 years in bigs (1985-1987) his SB/CS numbers were: 110/25, 107/14, 109/22. That's 84% success, and he ended up at 81% (752/177) for his career. He was amazing fast! I was at the game when he notched his 50th straight steal without being caught. Led the NL in SB the first 6 years of his career (also led in CS 3 of his first 4 years). Smartest base stealer? No clue, but he was certainly an amazing one for quite a while.
    Last edited by Herr28; 01-09-2013 at 12:46 PM. Reason: 6 years not 7
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  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by yankillaz View Post
    I remember that McReynolds season. It was in 1988, when he stole 21 bases without getting caught, a record for a season. Lot of potential there. Was it due to his smarts?
    This was the first thing that came to mind for me too. McReynolds was by no means slow, though far from blazing too. I watched a lot of Mets games that year. He picked his spots very well.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by brett View Post
    Does this not include when Mays walked?
    It does not include when Mays walked.

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