Anthony Gose, 23, a prospect in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, stole home on Monday night, a nearly unheard of occurrence in this modern era of baseball.
Gose, a center fielder for the Buffalo Bisons, the Triple-A affiliate of the Blue Jays, stole home plate during Monday night’s game against the Norfolk Tides, a farm team of the Baltimore Orioles, after he caught pitcher Jake Arrieta snoozing during the 1st inning.
Gose, who has four stolen bases on the season, demonstrates his mad home plate-stealing skills:
Holy cow, Gose had home plate by a mile.
Gose discussed the gutsy play after the game (via the New York Daily News):
“There’s a little extra pressure because if you’re out with the best hitter in baseball up right now … it doesn’t look too good on your part,” Gose said of the gutsy decision with Luis Jimenez, who’s batting .381, at the dish.
“So, it’s not the smartest play but it worked out, kind of got us going. Got some momentum our way and kind of made some things happen.”
Indeed. Gose told MILB.com that he had a feeling the rarely used play might work against this particular pitcher:
“I knew he took a little bit longer, I had seen him last year in the big leagues, I knew he had a little bit longer of a wind-up,” adding, “I knew he looked down, so I figured if I got a good enough jump with the third baseman playing off — because (Jimenez) was batting — I could maybe take a chance and get in there.”
With MLB teams unwilling to sacrifice baserunners, the stolen base has become almost an afterthought in baseball strategy, nothing compared to how integral the play was in previous eras. And that’s just a regular stolen base, not stealing home, which is essentially nonexistent now.
Way back when, stealing home plate was almost commonplace, or at the very least, attempts were made with some modicum of regularity. To wit: Rod Carew stole home an astounding seven times during his 1969 season with the Minnesota Twins and Ty Cobb stole home 50 times in his career, an incomprehensible statistic in this day and age.
Maybe Gose can bring it back.