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2010, New Candidates

2010 New Candidates

This guy might have been the only guy in the play-by-play era who could outrun Rickey Henderson.

Do you recognize this man? He might have been the only player in the play-by-play era who could outrun Rickey. 

In a recent post on Rickey Henderson, we noted how astounding his base running was as we compared him to other great leadoff hitters. We compared his times on base to his BBREF base running runs (rbaser) and showed what it looked like at a seasonal level (per 200 times on base). Of course, leadoff men aren’t the only great base runners, and Barry Larkin, one of this year’s newbies was outstanding on the lines. So before we let Rickey Henderson and his truly amazing and unique career go, we wanted to see if there was anyone, at all, with more than a cup of coffee in the play-by-play era who could match him as a baserunner per opportunity. Let us hasten directly to the answer.

If we use total career numbers, Rickey is at 5.8 runs per 200 TOB. He beats Larkin who was at 5.2. However, Rickey is only #19 on the list I drew up (thanks BBREF PI!). Many of the guys ahead of him have very short careers with only 200 to 700 times on base (versus Rickey’s 4,980) and, well, everyone had a shorter career than the ageless Henderson. Tim Raines (#17) was above Rickey’s career mark, but in that prior article, when we removed Rickey’s worst base running seasons until the TOB were similar, Rickey then beat the pants off Rock. In fact, doing this process for the remaining 17 guys revealed just one man who could out run The Man of Steal.

Go ahead, take a guess. I’ll put the answer in white letters that you can highlight with your mouse to reveal it: Willie Wilson. This player just nudged by Henderson by less than half a run per year, and not in a career of short length either. And in this way, the exception proves the rule of Rickey’s amazingness. OK, now we’re done with Rickey Henderson, and we’ll return to writing about the rest of baseball history.

F= Hall of Fame member
M = Hall of Merit member
S = Hall of Stats member

NEW FOR 2010

Roberto Alomar (F,M,S)
Ellis Burks
Juan Gonzalez
Ray Lankford
Barry Larkin (F,M,S)
Edgar Martinez (M,S)
Fred McGriff
Robin Ventura (S)
Fernando Vina

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