Flashback Friday: The Orioles are stealing bases like it's 1976

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Al Bumbry Card

May 24, 2013

The Orioles currently rank first in the American League in stolen bases with 37. As MASN's Steve Melewski notes: "Last season they stole 58 bases all year to rank last in the American League. This season they have 37 stolen bases and that ranks first in the AL. At this pace the Orioles would steal 127 bases to more than double last year's total."

Even if the O's stay on their 127 stolen base pace, they'd fall short of the all-time team mark of 150 set by the 1976 team.

Fourteen different players stole a base for the 1976 Orioles, including Rick Dempsey (20 career stolen bases in 24 big league seasons) and Tony Muser (14 career stolen bases in nine seasons). Andres Mora had the only stolen base of his career that season.

[As I noted earlier this month, Mora had the longest hit streak for an Orioles player 21 or younger until Manny Machado eclipsed the mark this season.]

The '76 Orioles had three players steal more than 25 bases: Al Bumbry led the team with 42 stolen bases, followed by Reggie Jackson with 28, and Mark Belanger with 27. Bumbry ranks fourth in franchise history for stolen bases with 252 while Belanger ranks ninth (tied with Luis Aparicio) with 166.

The Orioles' 150 stolen bases were nine above the American League average of 141 in 1976 but fell far short of the Oakland Athletics' 341 stolen bases. The Birds finished fourth overall in the A.L. for stolen bases.

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