Jacoby Ellsbury and the 9 Most Amazing Straight Steals of Home in MLB History
It's the most exciting play in baseball, yet it's one that we almost never see nowadays.
The straight steal of home.
It's a feat that Ty Cobb accomplished 54 times in his career, the most in the history of baseball. Even the great Babe Ruth is one of the 38 players in major league history to steal home at least 10 times.
Despite the seemingly high frequency that we saw so many years ago, now it never happens in the days of the long ball (and now getting back to pitching and defense).
However, it still will be the talk of SportsCenter and the sports world in general whenever another one does occur.
In this article I'll be bringing you nine of my favorite instances of someone stealing home that I have read of or seen.
This article was a huge help on this, so I will give credit to the writers.
Eric Young Sr.
I give Eric Young Sr. a spot on this list because he was the last player, according to Baseball Almanac, to steal second, third, and home in the same inning.
He accomplished this feat on June 30th, 1996. Young was known to be a good base stealer, as he racked up 465 over the course of his career.
I was unable to find any video of Young stealing home.
In his eight year career, Brad Fullmer stole 32 bases. In 2002, he set a career high of 10 for the season, but the most important steal of his career didn't come during the regular season.
In Game 2 of the World Series that year, Fullmer stole home in the first inning of the game. The Angels would go on to win the game 11-10, so the run was a very important one and if he had got caught stealing, the series may gone a different direction.
I was also not able to find a video of Fullmer stealing home.
As I stated in the introduction, Cobb stole home 54 times. The one I find the most impressive was his last one.
On June 15, 1928, at the age of 41, Cobb stole home in the eighth inning in a game against Cleveland.
The fact that he was still able to do it at that age was what stood out and impressed me the most.
This is also a fabulous article on Cobb and his ability to steal home.
In 1904, Jack Chesbro won 41 games for the New York Yankees, though they were then known as the Highlanders. In one of those wins, he got to completely thank himself.
Chesbro stole home on July 16 of that year, scoring the game-winning run.
Chesbro's 41 wins still stands as a record. Had he not stolen home that night, he may not have set the record.
When Jacoby Ellsbury stole home April 26, 2009, it had some of the factors that many people believe will make it very tough to steal home.
The most important one was that J.D. Drew, a left-handed hitter, was at the plate. That means that the catcher had a clear view of Ellsbury coming down the line and had a great chance at a clean tag.
Ellsbury was safe, so he beat those odds.
I also like the video because J.D. Drew just stands there afterwards, like it happens every day.
Willie Davis had a walk off steal of home on September 19, 1964. He got on base in the 16th inning with two outs, stole second, got to third on a wild throw, and then stole home on the next pitch.
The fact that he had all that movement with two outs and won the game like that makes it a pretty impressive feat to me.
In 1958, Vic Power stole three bases the entire season.
On August 14, Powers stole home not once, but twice.
The first steal of home came in the bottom of the eighth with two outs. The second one came in the bottom of the 10th, scoring the winning run.
Powers is the only man to steal home twice in one game since 1927.
Reggie Jackson is most well-known for swings like the one you see in the photo to the left. He was a power hitter, blasting 563 of homers throughout his career.
Jackson showed off his speed in Game 5 of the 1972 ALCS when he stole home in the second inning to tie the game.
Jackson even tore his hamstring on the play, but the A's still found a way to beat the Cincinnati Reds and win the World Series.
It is without question one of the most iconic moments in baseball history and there was no way it wouldn't be the last member of this list.
In Game 1 of the 1955 World Series, Robinson stole home in the top of the eighth inning as his team trailed 4-6.
The article that I linked to in the introduction said that the most significant steal of home for Robinson was his first one as a 22-year-old.
"Robinson's most famous steal of home came in the '55 Series, but his most significant was his first, which occurred in June of his revolutionary rookie year with the Dodgers. Earlier that season Pirates lefty Fritz Ostermueller had hit Robinson with a pitch, raising the ire of Robinson's teammates. In a rematch with Ostermueller on June 24, the Pirates and Dodgers were tied 2-2 in the fifth when Robinson reached base on a fielder's choice and was singled to third by Carl Furillo, who quickly stole second. With Ostermueller no longer concerned about a double steal, Robinson exacted his revenge, swiping home with what would prove to be the decisive run in the Dodgers' 4-2 victory. The steal spoke volumes about Robinson, who not only had the talent to break baseball's color line but the combination of talent, temperament, and timing to hit his detractors where it hurt, on the scoreboard. He would steal home 19 more times in his career, including that famous swipe against the Yankees, which remains the last straight steal of home in World Series history."
I'll take the last straight steal of home in the World Series though, as it is one of the most memorable and replayed moments in the game's history.
You really can't go wrong with either of them.