His batting average in 1922 was eventually recorded officially as .400 but only after much debate and furor.

Examining Stolen Base Trends by Decade from the Deadball Era through the 1970s

This article was written by John McMurray

This article was published in Fall 2015 Baseball Research Journal

This article was honored with a SABR Analytics Conference Research Award in 2016.


In 1976, for the first time in thirty-three seasons, total stolen bases exceeded total home runs in Major League Baseball.1 A consistent turn towards more frequent basestealing had already become evident on the field, as teams collectively stole over 1,000 more bases in 1976 than they did only three years earlier. This sea change invites consideration of the factors that led to the spate of stolen bases which characterized baseball in the mid-1970s.