Thorn: They stole home in 1927; why not now?

From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on July 10, 2017:

Did you know that Lou Gehrig — a lumbering slugger whose movements were so clunky that he earned the nickname Biscuit Pants — stole home 15 times?

Did you know that Babe Ruth stole home 10 times in his career?

In low-scoring periods like the deadball era of 1900–1919, or today’s pitcher-dominated times, playing for a single run rather than the big inning appears to make some sense. But given the run-scoring prowess of Murderers’ Row, such exploits are head-scratchers to today’s sabermetric set.

Working the count for a base on balls, sacrificing an out for a base, or attempting a steal — these time-honored strategies, born in the 1880s, began to wane by the 1950s. But in the 1920s and ’30s, deadball tactics still coexisted peaceably with the advent of the lively ball because, in baseball especially, traditions die hard.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: July 10, 2017. Last Updated: July 10, 2017.