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St. Louis Cardinals All-Time Stolen Base Leaders
The St. Louis Cardinals have long been a franchise associated with “small ball,” or manufacturing runs with speed and timely hitting. So it’s no surprise that they have fielded two of the greatest base stealers of all-time, Lou Brock and Vince Coleman. Here is a list of the team’s stolen base leaders to date:
Lou Brock (888)—All eyes were on Lou Brock in 1974 when he broke Maury Wills’ record for stolen bases in a season. The record was 104, and Brock wound up with 118, a modern day major league best that would be broken less than a decade later by Rickey Henderson (130, still the record). Brock, who played in St. Louis from 1964 to 1979, leads the Cardinals all-time with 888 steals, and his best overall season was probably 1974. In addition to the 118 stolen bases, Brock hit .306 with 194 hits, 105 runs, 25 doubles, 7 triples, 3 home runs and 48 RBI, finishing second in the NL MVP voting
Vince Coleman (549)—Though he only played six seasons in St. Louis (1985-90), Vince Coleman made them count, stealing 549 bases during that span, an incredible average of 91.5 per season. He stole over 100 bases his first three seasons in the league, and he ranks second in Cards’ history with that 549 mark. Coleman had a career high 110 steals in his rookie year, winning NL Rookie of the Year honors, but his best overall season was probably 1987. That year, Coleman had 109 stolen bases, and hit .289 with career highs in runs (121), walks (70), and hits (180). He also had 14 doubles, 10 triples and 43 RBI that year.
Ozzie Smith (433)—Everyone thinks of how slick a fielder Smith was, but he was effective with the bat and his legs when he needed to be. Smith played for the Cardinals most of his career, from 1982 to 1996, and ranks third in the team’s history with 433 stolen bases. Smith tied a career best with the Cards in 1988 with 57 steals, but his best overall season was probably 1987. That year, Smith hit a career high .303 with 104 runs, 182 hits, 40 doubles and 75 runs batted in (also career best). Even more impressive was Smith’s .987 fielding percentage that year, an added factor that helped him finish second in the NL MVP voting.
Arlie Latham (369)—Arlie Latham played for this franchise when they were known as the Browns and played in the American Association, from 1883 to 1889, and he ranks fourth in franchise history with 369 stolen bases. His best season was 1887, when Latham had a career high 129 steals (not considered in modern day records) with 163 runs, .316 batting average and 83 runs batted in.
Charlie Comiskey (336)—Charlie Comiskey played in the same era as Latham for the Browns, from 1882 to 1889, and ranks fifth in franchise history with 336 steals. Comiskey had a career high 117 stolen bases in 1887, when he also hit .335 with 139 runs and 103 RBI.