In the second inning of Thursday’s St. Louis Cardinals game, the club had two stolen bases. The first bag wasn’t much of a surprise, as it was swiped by Tyler Greene. After all, the infielder led the club in 2011 with 11.
It was the 34-year-old Westbrook’s first career steal. It wasn’t all that unusual as the pitcher has spent most of his 12 MLB seasons in the American League. Westbrook had only 117 career plate appearances prior to Thursday.
Westbrook logged the Cardinals first stolen base by a pitcher in over three seasons – since Joel Pineiro did it back on April 15, 2009.
With the help of researcher Tom Orf, we learn that since at least 1930, the Cardinals have a total of just 64 stolen bases by pitchers, with never more than one in a game.
Not surprisingly, arguably the best athlete to play the position for St. Louis is both the club’s single-season and career stolen base leader – Bob Gibson.
Gibby also has two of the top three seasons and three of the best eight. 1968 may have been known as the “Year of the Pitcher,” but the next season was Gibson’s “Year of the Stolen Base.” He logged five of his career 13 that year.
Stolen bases by a pitcher, St. Louis Cardinals, single season since 1930
|5||Bob Gibson 1969|
|3||Gibson 1966||Joaquin Andujar 1985|
|2||Gibson 1965||Andujar 1983||Al Jackson 1966||Harvey Haddix 1954||Dizzy Dean 1935|
Stolen bases by a pitcher, St. Louis Cardinals, career since 1930
|4||D. Dean 1930-37|
|3||Bob Forsch 1974-88||John Denny 1974-79||Haddix 1952-56|