350-pound pitcher manages to steal third base in minor league game (video)

During a game between the Louisville Bats, the Triple-A minor league affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and the Indianapolis Indians, the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, something occurred that may never be seen again: a ginormous relief pitcher that tips the scales at a whopping 350 pounds, managed to steal a base. And third base at that.

Jose Diaz, a reliever for the Indianapolis Indians who fittingly goes by the nickname “Jumbo,” managed a clean steal of third base during the 8th inning. What makes this feat impressive and a surprising oddity are the following two conditions:

  • it’s rare enough of an occurrence for a relief pitcher to get an at-bat; and secondly;
  • the guy is 350-freaking-pounds, people

Video follows.

From the Pirates Propects’ post-game recap:

The top of the 8th began with the Indians’ second baseman coming to the plate — Jose Diaz, in only his second professional at-bat. The crowd laughed even more when Diaz made contact, though they did not laugh at 1B Votto, who went to his left to make the play on Diaz’s grounder, and bobbled it. Votto still had time, but he rushed his throw to his pitcher who was covering first base. The throw sailed wide, and Diaz raced to second base on the 2-base error.

The Indians’ radio team began joking about how funny it would be if Diaz tried to steal third base — and just as they said it, that’s what happened. Diaz completely surprised the Bats by taking off for third, and he got there standing up, not even drawing a throw, for his first ever stolen base.

Wow. Jumbo got such a good jump  that a throw wasn’t even attempted. That’s world-class speed and base-stealing acumen, kids. Or it was a combination of lackadaisical play by the opposition with some blind luck. One of the two.

[H/T BLS]

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