The great Rickey Henderson once said: “If my uniform doesn’t get dirty, I haven’t done anything in the baseball game.” Having stolen 146 bases in 121 games it would appear that Reds’ prospect Billy Hamilton must’ve taken Henderson’s words to heart, as there hasn’t been a game this year where Hamilton hasn’t gotten a little dirty.
Hamilton stole his 146th base of the year in Tuesday night’s game to pass Vince Coleman for the most stolen bases in a single season. (Coleman set the mark back in 1983, when he stole 145 for Macon in the Class A South Atlantic League.) With two weeks left in the season it should be interesting to see how many more Hamilton can get.
This isn’t the first time in baseball history that a guy by the name of Billy Hamilton has caused havoc on the base paths. Way back in 1888 another fellow by the same name, broke into the major leagues, and would go on to steal 912 bases in his 14-year career–good enough for 3rd on the All-Time stolen base list.
Billy Hamilton (the one from this day and time) stole 104 bags over the first half of the season with Class A Bakersfield before being promoted to AA Pensacola, where he currently resides. Considering the fact that Hamilton stole 103 bags over the course of the ENTIRE 2011 season, you knew this year was going to be something special.
Looking past the record, and into Hamilton’s future, a lot of people are wondering whether or not the Cincinnati Reds will make Hamilton a September call-up; myself included. When confronted with the question, Reds’ manager Dusty Baker had this to say about Hamilton’s chances: “Possibly. Speed’s always an asset. Speed kills. I remember the Cardinals with Willie McGee, Vince Coleman and Ozzie (Smith). That was their slogan, speed kills.”
Speed definitely kills. And it would seem that Hamilton has done his fair share of killing.