Phillies History: Stealing Them All


The Philadelphia Phillies have had three players in franchise history who have stolen 2nd and 3rd bases, and then home, during the same sequence of baserunning.

The first time that a Phils’ player ever accomplished the feat of stealing 2nd, 3rd, and then home came all the way back on July 12th, 1906 when Sherry Magee did it against the host Saint Louis Cardinals at Robison Field.

As well told by the “Benning’s Writing Blog” all the way back in 2007, Magee was the most prolific Phillies player in history when it came to swiping home plate. He accomplished the feat 23 times during his career, and is the only Phils’ player to ever have done it twice in one game.

Benning’s piece includes a fantastic quote from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer regarding the risk and accomplishment in stealing home:

Stealing home is a runner putting 270 feet worth of progress at risk, betting he can beat a 90 mph pitch to the plate. It’s all or nothing, a stolen run or a painful out. No other play takes more sheer guts.

It would be nearly 3/4 of a century before another Phillies player successfully pulled off that stealing of 2nd, 3rd, and home, and of course it was the man who had more sheer guts than most any other who ever pulled on a big league uniform.

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On May 11th, 1980 it was done by ‘Charlie Hustle’ himself, Pete Rose. Possibly to show off what his former employers were missing, Rose accomplished the feat in a 7-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Riverfront Stadium.

His steal of home on that day came on the back-end of a double-steal, with Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt swiping 2nd base with Mario Soto on the mound for the Reds, and with Greg Luzinski at the plate for the Phillies.

The last time that the feat has been accomplished to date, and the only time in club history that it has been done at home, came on May 12th, 2009 when Jayson Werth pulled it off against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park.

In the bottom of the 7th with the Phils up by 4-2 and lefty Will Ohman on the mound for LA, Werth lined a one-out single to left field. Then with two outs, he took off and swiped 2nd base.

Dodgers manager Joe Torre then had Ohman intentionally walk Jimmy Rollins to get a lefty-on-lefty matchup with Raul Ibanez. Werth and Rollins promptly took off for a double-steal. Ibanez then worked a walk, loading the bases and prompting Torre to bring in Ronald Belisario from the bullpen.

On a 2-1 pitch to Pedro Feliz, Werth stunned everyone by taking off. He slid home safely, becoming the first Phillies player in nearly three decades to pull off the steal of 2nd, 3rd, and home feat. The Phillies would go on to win the game by a 5-3 score.

In all, the feat has been accomplished just 50 times in MLB history: 24 in the American League, and 26 times in the National League. It has not been done in the AL since Chris Stynes of the Kansas City Royals in 1996. Dee Gordon of the Dodgers did it back in 2011, the last player in the NL and overall in Major League Baseball to pull it off.

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