Elly De La Cruz Stole Four Bases in One Game to Continue His Historic Start

May 16, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz (44) steals
May 16, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz (44) steals / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Elly De La Cruz starred in a Cincinnati Reds win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday. De La Cruz went 4-for-4 at the plate, walked, and stole four bases, bringing his season total to 30. It was just the sixth time that a player has stole 30 or more bases in their first 44 games of the season since 1901. It may sound like a clunky stat, but the simple truth is that he's off to a ridiculous start.

After the game De La Cruz told Bally Sports Cincinnati's Jim Day, "This is my city." Asked to elaborate, De La Cruz explained that his first time in the United States was in Los Angeles and that he really got to know it playing Grand Theft Auto.

That must be where he learned to steal so much. De La Cruz's 30 stolen bases puts him 13 ahead of Jose Caballero who is in second place. He has more than twice as many steals as everyone except Caballero, Brice Turang and Bobby Witt Jr. He has more stolen bases than 19teams. The San Francisco Giants have only stolen 14 bases as a team. That's only two more than De La Cruz has in May. Keep in mind there are two weeks left in the month.

Shockingly, he actually did get caught stealing once when Austin Barnes threw him out at second in the seventh inning. Even with what looked like a bad jump and a perfect throw, the play looked surprisingly at the bag.

That was just the fifth time that De La Cruz was caught on the base paths this season. For some perspective, when Rickey Henderson stole 130 bases in 1982, he was caught stealing 42 times. Henderson stole 100+ bases three times, all before he turned 25. De La Cruz is only 22 and at this rate, he has a shot to become the first person to do it since Vince Coleman in 1987. Something worth monitoring.

Stephen Douglas


Stephen Douglas is a Senior Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. He has been in journalism and media since 2008, and now casts a wide net with coverage across all sports. Stephen spent more than a decade with The Big Lead and has previously written for Uproxx and The Sporting News. He has three children, two degrees and one now unverified Twitter account.