This blog entry is dedicated to setting the record straight regarding Lou Brock and his two steals of home.
Unfortunately, some reports, including a book produced by ESPN and an article in the digital archives of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), state Brock never stole home during his big-league career. Those reports are inaccurate.
Brock stole home twice on the front end of double steals. He did it first with the Cubs on May 24, 1964, against the Reds at Cincinnati. He repeated the feat with the Cardinals on Aug. 6, 1970, against the Mets at St. Louis.
But the incorrect reports about Brock never stealing home are prevalent on Internet search engines such as Google.
“ESPN: The Mighty Book of Sports Knowledge” (2009, Ballantine) has an item about Lou Gehrig stealing home 15 times during his career with the Yankees. The book, edited by Steve Wulf, incorrectly concludes, “Although that’s nowhere near the record of 54 set by Ty Cobb, it is 15 more than the total of Lou Brock.”
A research article on the same topic by Raymond J. Gonzalez in the SABR archives incorrectly reports, “The recent disclosure that Lou Brock had never stolen home … came as quite a surprise. Modern players are still stealing home … but Brock … has never done it.”
Possibly adding to the misinformation is a 2009 Sports Illustrated article. Ted Keith of SI.com wrote, “Only four of the 1,406 steals by career leader Rickey Henderson were straight steals of home, and that’s four more than Lou Brock (938), the man whose record Henderson broke, had in his Hall of Fame career.”
It’s true that neither of Brock’s steals of home were so-called “straight steals,” meaning his wasn’t the lone steal on the play. But the Sports Illustrated piece leaves the false impression Brock never stole home. The fact those thefts were on double steals (each time, a runner swiped second while Brock stole home) doesn’t diminish or erase the accomplishment.
Posted: November 29, 2012 at 05:47 AM | 41 comment(s)
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