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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

SI: Maury Wills Looks Back on Dodgers Career

Interestingly, Wills had a nearly identical number of stolen base opportunities between two seasons, with 348 in 1961 and 349 in 1962. But he attempted more than twice as many steals in 1962 as he had the previous year, running 33.6 percent of his opportunities. He’d steal 104 bases in all, shattering Ty Cobb’s 47-year-old single-season record of 96.

“I never intended to break Ty Cobb’s record,” Wills said. “I just thought of stealing bases. That became our attack. I would get on and steal second and then I’d steal third. Somebody’d hit a long fly ball (for a sacrifice fly) and Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale would shut ‘em out.”


He also stole with an excellent rate of success in 1962, getting caught stealing just 13 times that season. He attributing his success to studying opposing catchers and pitchers during pregame warm-ups.

“All the players always when it was to their advantage, they would go to the clubhouse and have that soda or cup of coffee or whatever,” Wills said. “I would sit on the bench and watch the opposition. It was something, Pete Reiser had taught me that. I always watched the opposing team take infield because I wanted to see the catcher throw to second base.”

villageidiom Posted: April 28, 2020 at 10:43 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, los angeles, los angeles dodgers, maury wills, stolen bases

Today in Baseball History: Barry Bonds joins the 300-300 club

I was initially going to devote today’s baseball history post to a different exclusive club as, on this day in 1971, Hank Aaron hit his 600th career homer in a Braves loss. At the time, there were only two other players in that exclusive club and one of them — Willie Mays — was on the team that beat Aaron’s Braves that day, the San Francisco Giants. The other, of course, was Babe Ruth.

The thing is, though, the 600-home run club isn’t as exclusive as it used to be. Since Aaron joined that club, six other men have joined him, the Bambino and the Say Hey Kid: Barry Bonds (762), Alex Rodriguez (696), Albert Pujols (656 and counting), Ken Griffey Jr. (630), Jim Thome (612), and Sammy Sosa (609).

A lot of that, obviously, is because of the differences between eras and, in some cases, the help of banned substances. More homers were hit from the mid-1990s through the present day, making a hyper-exclusive club into a somewhat less-hyper-exclusive club. It happens.

There’s a different club, however, that two of those men belong to which also has a history item tied to is on April 27: the 300-300 club, for guys who have smacked 300 dingers and stole 300 bases. On this day in 1996 Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants homered twice in a 6-3 victory over the Florida Marlins to gain entry. He had stolen his 300th base in 1994. Bonds, of course, would go on to become the only member of both the 400-400 and 500-500 club. He was pretty good.

Something for those of you curious as for who has combined power and speed to the greatest degree.

 

QLE Posted: April 28, 2020 at 12:52 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: 300-300, barry bonds, history, home runs, stolen bases

 

 

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