MLB Stolen Base Leaders By Year—1970s
Before Rickey Henderson broke into the league and revolutionized the stolen base as an art form, others did pretty good, too. In particular, Lou Brock was a living legend in both Chicago, and especially in St. Louis during the 1970's. Here is a complete list of MLB stolen base leaders in the decade:
1979-Willie Wilson, Kansas City Royals (83)
1979 was Willie Wilson's first real full season, as he played in 154 games for the Royals. That year, Wilson had a career high and major league best 83 stolen bases. He also hit .315 with 6 home runs, 49 runs batted in, 18 doubles, 13 triples, 113 runs, and a .351 on base average.
1978-Omar Moreno, Pittsburgh Pirates (71)
The Pirates of the ‘70's were known for their great power and speed. In 1978, Omar Moreno led the majors in stolen bases, the year after teammate Frank Taveras did the same. That season, Moreno racked up 71 steals, batting .235 with 95 runs, 15 doubles, 7 triples, 81 walks and a .339 on base percentage.
1977-Frank Taveras, Pittsburgh Pirates (70)
Like Moreno, Frank Taveras wasn't the best hitter for average, but he was extremely fast and adept at stealing bases. In 1977, Taveras stole 70 bases to lead the majors, but only batted .252 with 1 homer, 29 RBI, 72 runs, 20 doubles, 10 triples, and a .306 on base percentage.
1976-Billy North, Oakland Athletics (75)
Even before Rickey Henderson began his illustrious career, Billy North roamed the outfield in Oakland, and in 1976 North led the majors with 75 stolen bases. That season, North batted .276 with 163 hits, 91 runs, 20 doubles, 5 triples, 73 walks, and a .356 on-base average.
1975-Davey Lopes, Los Angeles Dodgers (77)
Davey Lopes was an absolutely electric leadoff man for the Dodgers and a few other teams in 16 seasons. In 1975, Lopes took the stolen base crown from fellow National Leaguer Lou Brock, with 77 bases swiped. That season, Lopes batted .262 with 91 walks, 162 hits, 108 runs, 24 doubles, 6 triples, 8 homers, 41 RBI, and a .358 on base percentage.
1974-Lou Brock, St. Louis Cardinals (118)
Lou Brock was the Rickey Henderson of his time, and played on some great Cardinals teams in the ‘60's and ‘70's. In 1974, Brock broke Maury Wills' single season mark of 104 stolen bases, racking up 118 of his own. That record stood until 1982 when Henderson stole 130. In fact, Brock ranks second to Henderson all-time, with 938 total steals. That 1974 season, Brock batted .306 with 61 walks, 194 hits, 105 runs, 25 doubles, 7 triples, 3 homers, 48 RBI, a .368 on base average and .381 slugging percentage-numbers that are all the more remarkable when you consider that Brock was 35 years old at the time.
1973-Lou Brock, St. Louis Cardinals (70)
Brock's 70 steals in 1973 aren't quite 118, but it was still a great season for the Cardinals' outfielder. Brock batted .297 with 193 hits, 110 runs, 29 doubles, 8 triples, 7 home runs, 63 runs batted in, 71 walks, a .364 on base average and .398 slugging percentage.
1972-Lou Brock, St. Louis Cardinals (63)
In 1972, Lou Brock batted .311 with a major league best 63 stolen bases, the second of four straight seasons he led the league in steals. Brock also hit 3 homers with 42 RBI, 193 hits, 81 runs, 26 doubles, 8 triples, 47 walks and a .359 on base percentage.
1971-Lou Brock, St. Louis Cardinals (64)
Just like Henderson was the new Brock, Brock was becoming the new Maury Wills in the late ‘60's and early ‘70's. In 1971, Brock led the majors in steals with 64, while batting .313 with 76 walks, 200 hits, 126 runs, 37 doubles, 7 triples, 7 homers, 61 RBI, a .385 on-base average and .425 slugging percentage.
1970-Bobby Tolan, Cincinnati Reds (57)
Bobby Tolan was a solid, consistent all-around hitter, but in 1970 he may have had a career year when he led the majors with 57 stolen bases. Tolan also batted .316 (career high) with 16 homers, 80 RBI, 186 hits, 112 runs, 34 doubles, 6 triples, 62 walks, a .384 on base average and .475 slugging percentage.