OK, I was pondering that stealing home thread as I listened to the White Sox loading up the bases on the Rangers tonight, and a thought struck me: has anyone ever tried a triple steal? I’ve sure never heard of one, and I can’t decide whether it’s a viable tactic. Would the runner going from first to second attract a throw from the catcher, guaranteeing a successful steal of home? Or would it just alert the catcher early on that the runner at third was heading for home? Obviously, the catcher would be able to deduce this with the bases loaded (without a triple steal, there’s noplace for the runner on first to go), but would he deduce it before or after he threw to second? Certainly before, if he was looking for it-but if it’s virtually never done (as I’m sure it isn’t-I’ve never heard of it!), wouldn’t the surprise factor be likely to mess him up?
It’s not the majors, but it’s been done:
In the majors, too.
This site says Ty Cobb was involved in a successful triple steal six times:
I’m not sure, but I believe Billy Martin tried it once with one of his Oakland A’s teams…
Along with the element of surprise, if a team did it with no one out, the worst that would likely happen is that the guy trying to steal home would be out, and you’d have 2nd and 3rd with one out. Things could be worse–scoring is still fairly likely, and force plays are no longer in effect.
Thanks! That story cracked me up, though:
That’s right: Gookie Dawkins,
who stole three bases in the inning, stole home straight up, Brady Clark stole third (his second of
the inning) and Ben Broussard
stole his first of the year …
“The best part of that play was
that all three runners took off at
the same time,” said Lookouts manager Phillip Wellman, who
called the triple steal from the
dugout. “What you need on that play is the right guy at third base
and the pitcher (Robert Theodile)
going from the wind-up. We had
So, let me get this straight-the runner at third had already stolen second and third that inning, the runner at second had stolen second; and the pitcher hadn’t switched to pitching from the stretch? HA-HA-HA!!! (wipes nose) “Oh, they’ve stolen three bases this inning-but I’m sure they won’t try it again now!” I mean, if ever you’re going to be looking for a triple steal …
I imagine that triple steals were not that uncommon in the deadball era (pre-1920).
I also recall Billy Martin calling for one when he managed the A’s.
I believe it’s just like a straight steal of home except that the back two runners will likely be safe easily. After all, why bother to throw to another base when you have somebody running right into a tag.
Vince Coleman and Willie McGee were credited with a double double steal once. After they stole second and third, they got up and moved up another base after the third baseman screwed something up. I always thought there should have been an error charged on that play.