Anderson had one of the most efficient base-stealing seasons in history in 1994
by Matthew Taylor
In his recent article “Art of the Steal,” Sports Illustrated writer Chris Ballard mentions baseball’s all-time most efficient base stealers, including Brady Anderson.
At week’s end, Holliday had stolen 25 of 26 bases (96.2%) this season. Only Brady Anderson and Beltran, who were 31 of 32 in 1994 and 2001, respectively, have had more prolific seasons while getting caught just once.
Jim Baker similarly discussed the topic in August on ESPN’s Page 2. And as noted by Seamheads this season, Anderson holds the Oriole record for most consecutive stolen bases without getting caught, a streak of 35 games that lasted from May 14, 1994, to July 2, 1995.
This week’s Flashback Friday on Roar from 34 revisits Brady Anderson’s lone unsuccessful stolen base attempt during the strike-shortened 1994 season. It occurred on Friday the 13th – May 13, to be specific – in a game the Birds lost to the Minnesota Twins, 4-1.
Mark McLemore successfully swiped second base in the top of the third inning. Anderson, 30 at the time, was not as lucky an inning earlier when 24-year-old catcher Matt Walbeck made him one of his 42 victims for 1994 with a throw down to shortstop Pat Meares. Walbeck gunned down 39 percent of runners on the season, including Anderson and Rafael Palmeiro that day.
The 4-1 loss also denied Ben McDonald an opportunity to become the first pitcher since Dave Stewart in 1988 to start the season with eight wins in eight starts. Stewart’s eight-game streak in 1988 ended at the hands of … you guessed it, the Baltimore Orioles, who began the season with 21 consecutive losses and ended it with 107 losses overall.
Flashback Friday Extra: The 1994 season was filled with “What Ifs?” including Tony Gwynn’s chase of .400 and the Montreal Expos’ pursuit of postseason glory. The Aug. 12, 1994, edition of The New York Times details what was lost.