As we embark on the 17th season of Jersey League baseball, we have another race on our hands. It isn't as sexy or as common as the Home Run or Wins or Strikeouts. We are talking about Stolen Bases. For the last 6 seasons, Braden Bynum has retired holding the top spot as Stolen Base King at 688. What was amazing was that he did this in only 9 seasons. He was able to steal at least 50 bags in his first 8 seasons, before age finally began to take its toll and he rapidly declined the final 3 seasons, playing a combined 14 games in his last 2 before retiring. Well, get out your speed guns and hide your pitchers and catchers, because we have the luxury of having not 1, but 2 speed demons that will surpass this number (hopefully) by season's end.
The first is Iowa City's Ricardo Valdes, who began the season with 618 Stolen Bases. At age 34, his speed has slowly declined over the past couple of seasons. But, coach carlspenard does not intend to give Valdes the red light any time soon (he already has 10 swipes to start the season).
The other candidate is New York's own Calvin Lee. As a fellow AL Easterner, it bothered me IMMENSELY when this ballplayer fell into piratestros lap via the Rule V draft in Season 10. Since then, Lee has done nothing but wreak havoc on the basepaths. To know that he is on the verge of surpassing Bynum at the young age of 29 makes one wonder just where he will end up as All Time Stolen Base King.
As we have done for other records, I will post these 2 players on the blog wall to see how they are doing as the season progresses. As fast as these guys are, however, don't be alarmed if the blog is a stolen base or 2 behind the times. Good luck (unless you are playing Norfolk, of course).