Friday, September 1, 2017

September 1, 1963: Curt Simmons Steals Home

     On September 1, 1963, Curt Simmons drove in two runs and stole home during a 7-3 win over the Phillies in Philadelphia. To date, Simmons is the last hurler to steal home plate. The theft of the dish came after he tripled in the second inning, then made the historic dash to home after Chris Short sailed one a little wide on an aborted squeeze play.

    The Phillies honored Stan Musial before the game, as it was going to be his last time that he appeared as a player in the City of Brotherly Love. Stan went 2 for 3 with a double. Other offensive stars included George Altman who went 3 for 4 with a double, a triple and a ribbie, Tim McCarver who went two for four with two ribbies, and Ken Boyer who hit one over the fence.

      Out of all the things that happened during this game the theft of home plate stands out the most. According to the Society of American Baseball Research only 40 pitchers, which includes Simmons, have stolen home plate. More than 50 years later the feat has not been accomplished again by a moundsman. Quite astounding.

Here's a great piece by the aforementioned Society of American Baseball Research about pitcher that have stole home: http://research.sabr.org/journals/pitchers-stealing-home

Check out the box score here: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHI/PHI196309010.shtml

Side note: Despite the article in the photo saying that the double was Musial's 732nd of his career, it was actually his 723rd, which put him one behind Ty Cobb on the all time doubles list. Musial hit two doubles in his career to finish with 725 two baggers, which one more than Cobb. Musial ranks third on the all time list. Only Pete Rose (746) and  Tris Speaker (792) reached second base more than Stan.

   

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