Trea Turner ties a Phillies legend with his incredible stolen base streak

The Phillies shortstop tied Jimmy Rollins on Tuesday for the fourth-longest consecutive stolen base streak in MLB history.
Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Trea Turner stole his 39th consecutive base on Tuesday, tying him with former Phillie Jimmy Rollins.
Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Trea Turner stole his 39th consecutive base on Tuesday, tying him with former Phillie Jimmy Rollins. / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Trea Turner’s record-threatening stolen base streak is one of those matters most people would be unaware of if it weren’t for computers. In ancient times, total stolen bases in a season were the standard measure, and yes, it was a big deal when Maury Wills swiped 104 in 1962.

Fifteen years after the fact, the Topps company honored that record with one of their “Turn Back the Clock” trading cards, calling the feat “the most spectacular individual accomplishment” of the season.

But we do have computers now and stealing bases perfectly, not “ever” being caught, may well be more interesting than the eye-popping total steal numbers posted by Wills, Vince Coleman, or Rickey Henderson.

And as of Tuesday, Turner moved one notch higher on the list of total consecutive stolen base streaks but remained, strangely, still stuck in a clot of expert base thieves who wore Phillies uniforms. He nabbed his 39th consecutive stolen base without being caught in the fourth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals.

This put him in a tie for fourth on the all-time list with Jimmy Rollins, and one ahead of former Phillies coach Davey Lopes, one of the best base-stealing mentors ever. Vince Coleman, the overall consecutive steals leader, had 50 straight swipes between 1988 and 1989.

Turner’s current streak dates to Sept. 6, 2022, the day after his last caught stealing, when he booked a steal in a 6-3 win over his then divisional-rival Giants. His 39th consecutive steal was his 34th consecutive for the Phillies. It includes a record-setting 30-for-30 season last year.

Turner may be scuffling in the field recently, but the next time you see him glide gracefully into second base untouched on a steal attempt, remind yourself that this is the only active player likely to surpass Coleman’s record. If he’s thrown out on any of his next 11 stolen base attempts, Coleman’s record may last until the 22nd century.

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