Hank Aaron once said that “the triple is the most exciting play in baseball.”
He was wrong.
That breathless anticipation and excitement as a runner makes the turn at second and heads for third is one of the sport’s greatest pleasures — a pleasure amplified, I suspect, by its rarity in today’s game. So I certainly understand where Hammerin’ Hank’s coming from when he extols the virtues of the three-bagger.
But for me, this will always be the most exciting play in baseball:
Because baseball is such a comparative sport, accounts of yesterday’s feat eagerly point out that SS Jonathan Villar’s steal makes him the “1st Astros rookie to steal home since Craig Biggio on July 13, 1989 against the Phillies.” Also, Villar’s been playing for all of 8 games. And if his post-game remarks are any indication, it won’t be the last time we see him raging down that line. “For me it was easy. Because sometimes when the pitcher doesn’t look at me, that’s easy for me.” (Funny. The pitcher never looks at me when I’m standing at third, either. But that’s because I can’t run. Same planet; different athletic worlds.)
And because there’s no such thing as Too Much Baseball, here’s a look at the (arguably) most famous steal of home to date: Jackie Robinson’s 8th inning theft in Game 1 of the 1955 World Series. (Yogi is not amused.)
Attribution(s): “Drawing of Someone (Maybe Jackie Robinson) Sliding Somewhere (Maybe Home)” provided by Shutterstock.