Discussion

Not getting caught just as important

Originally Published: January 21, 2005
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
Most people, when asked who was the better basestealer, Maury Wills or Ozzie Smith, would choose Wills. Or at least most people born before 1950. But Wills and Smith stole virtually the same number of bases (586 for Wills, 580 for Smith), while Ozzie was thrown out significantly fewer times (148 for Smith, 208 for Wills). We're often told how many bases are stolen, but we're rarely told how many bases were not stolen.

Here are the five most prolific basestealers in major league history:

                 SB    CS   Pct
Ri. Henderson   1406  335  80.7
Lou Brock        938  307  75.3
Billy Hamilton   912  ???  
Ty Cobb          892  ???
Tim Raines       808  146  84.7

Not many would consider Tim Raines in Lou Brock's class . . . but, based on the bases they stole and those they didn't, one could argue that it's Brock who wasn't in Raines' class.

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