Fun with stolen bases
OK, so brilliant reader David (in Toledo) offered up a great statistic that I did not know -- he says that the
Well, best I can tell, David is exactly right. And the comment is such a fun little piece of trivia that it has inspired me to look up a few other stolen base facts:
Here are the Top 12 -- down to Richie Scheinblum -- for most big league plate appearances without a stolen base:
Here's an amazing little stat for you: Adrian Gonzalez has NEVER ATTEMPTED a stolen base. Never. True, he is officially listed for one stolen attempt, but it wasn't an attempt -- that was July 9, 2006, in Washington. He got picked off second base by
But while he "might" be the slowest outfielder ever, he's almost certainly the only outfielder to ever play piano at Carnegie Hall. And he is DEFINITELY the only man to play piano at Carnegie Hall AND play a headhunter on
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All of those stolen base attempts came the same year -- 2005 -- when Robles played for the Dodgers. I'm not entirely certain why they kept giving Robles the green light. I guess they assumed because he was 5-foot-11 and weighed 155 pounds that he HAD to be fast. But I'm not entirely certain where they got the information -- he had not played in the minor leagues in seven years, and when he did play in the minor leagues he was extremely slow.
It's funny, I think that for all the research and scouting and detailed analysis baseball people do, so much of it STILL comes down to how a player looks. For instance, I remember talking with
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Here is the list:
1. Pete Runnels, 1952: 0 for 10.
2. Oscar Robles, 2005: 0 for 8.
Eight players are tied at 0 for 7 including:
And that leads me to perhaps the most inappropriate nickname in baseball history -- Chet (the Jet) Lemon. Yeah, it rhymed. But Chet the Jet indicates that Lemon was extremely fast and, frankly, he's one of the worst base stealers in baseball history.
He looked fast, I suppose, because he was an excellent centerfielder (mostly because of his instincts) and because he would often take the extra base (again, on instinct and aggressiveness). And maybe, first to third or whatever, he was fast. But Chet Lemon simply could not steal a base. In his long career, he stole only 58 bases and he was caught 76 times. His first season he stole 13 bases and was caught seven times -- a pretty dreadful ratio -- but it would be BY FAR his best stolen base year.
Chet Lemon was an excellent player. He hit a lot of doubles, he excelled at getting on base, especially in his years with the White Sox (in part because he got hit with pitches a lot). He had good power -- he hit 20 or more home runs three times in his career, and 19 homers a couple more. His 120 career OPS+ is outstanding. But man, he could not steal a base despite the nickname.