The Curious Case Of Craig Biggio’s 1993 Season

Ball8StatsWhy was Craig Biggio such a lousy base stealer in 1993?

Biggio, on the cusp of being selected to the Hall of Fame, put up solid base-stealing numbers in his career – swiping 414 out of 538 attempts (77 percent).

But in 1993, Biggio was successful in just 15 of 32 attempts for an anemic and historically bad 47 percent.

Which is odd: The next season he bounced back to steal 39 bases in 43 attempts. And his next worst season with at least 15 attempts was 1999, when he managed to steal in 67 percent of his attempts. Without 1993, Biggio successfully stole 79 percent of his attempts throughout his career.

For historical perspective, Biggio’s 1993 season was one of just four since 1926 in which a major league player was caught stealing more frequently than he stole a base (minimum 30 attempts). As you see in the chart below, only Lenny Randle (1975), Dave Parker (1977) and Alfredo Griffin (1980) joined Biggio in pulling off the feat in the last 88 seasons.

Here are the 43 players who have done it since 1901:

Rk Player CS SB Year ▴ Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H BB
1 Bris Lord 16 15 1912 28 PHA AL 97 429 378 63 90 34
2 Del Pratt 30 24 1912 24 SLB AL 152 622 570 76 172 36
3 Harry Lord 33 30 1912 30 CHW AL 151 656 570 81 152 52
4 Heinie Zimmerman 19 18 1913 26 CHC NL 127 510 447 69 140 41
5 Zack Wheat 20 19 1913 25 BRO NL 138 573 535 64 161 25
6 Joe Connolly 21 18 1913 29 BSN NL 126 513 427 79 120 66
7 Rebel Oakes 26 22 1913 29 STL NL 147 612 539 60 158 43
8 Lee Magee 26 23 1913 24 STL NL 137 589 531 54 142 34
9 Home Run Baker 20 19 1914 28 PHA AL 150 637 570 84 182 53
10 Larry Gardner 23 16 1914 28 BOS AL 155 597 553 50 143 35
11 Jimmy Austin 23 20 1914 34 SLB AL 130 523 466 55 111 40
12 Roy Hartzell 25 22 1914 32 NYY AL 137 581 481 55 112 68
13 Duffy Lewis 31 22 1914 26 BOS AL 146 598 510 53 142 57
14 Doc Cook 32 26 1914 28 NYY AL 132 534 470 59 133 44
15 Happy Felsch 18 16 1915 23 CHW AL 121 496 427 65 106 51
16 Ray Schalk 18 15 1915 22 CHW AL 135 499 413 46 110 62
17 Bobby Veach 19 16 1915 27 DET AL 152 661 569 81 178 68
18 Amos Strunk 19 17 1915 26 PHA AL 132 564 485 76 144 56
19 Shoeless Joe Jackson 20 16 1915 27 TOT AL 128 531 461 63 142 52
20 Hi Myers 22 19 1915 26 BRO NL 153 645 605 69 150 17
21 Dave Bancroft 27 15 1915 24 PHI NL 153 665 563 85 143 77
22 Amos Strunk 23 21 1916 27 PHA AL 150 635 544 71 172 66
23 Milt Stock 26 21 1916 22 PHI NL 132 551 509 61 143 27
24 Bucky Harris 17 16 1920 23 WSH AL 136 591 506 76 152 41
25 Milt Stock 17 15 1920 26 STL NL 155 708 639 85 204 40
26 Harry Hooper 18 16 1920 32 BOS AL 139 634 536 91 167 88
27 Heinie Groh 19 16 1920 30 CIN NL 145 633 550 86 164 60
28 Dave Robertson 23 17 1920 30 CHC NL 134 555 500 68 150 40
29 Billy Southworth 25 23 1920 27 PIT NL 146 617 546 64 155 52
30 George Burns 20 19 1921 31 NYG NL 149 699 605 111 181 80
31 Jack Fournier 22 20 1921 31 STL NL 149 661 574 103 197 56
32 Babe Pinelli 22 17 1922 26 CIN NL 156 622 547 77 167 48
33 Charlie Hollocher 29 19 1922 26 CHC NL 152 691 592 90 201 58
34 Sam Bohne 19 16 1923 26 CIN NL 139 608 539 77 136 48
35 Babe Ruth 21 17 1923 28 NYY AL 152 697 522 151 205 170
36 Sparky Adams 17 15 1924 29 CHC NL 117 473 418 66 117 40
37 Bernie Friberg 27 19 1924 24 CHC NL 142 589 495 67 138 66
38 Earl McNeely 16 15 1925 27 WSH AL 123 453 385 76 110 48
39 Bob Meusel 17 16 1926 29 NYY AL 108 474 413 73 130 37
40 Lenny Randle 19 16 1975 26 TEX AL 156 676 601 85 166 57
41 Dave Parker 19 17 1977 26 PIT NL 159 706 637 107 215 58
42 Alfredo Griffin 23 18 1980 22 TOR AL 155 696 653 63 166 24
43 Craig Biggio 17 15 1993 27 HOU NL 155 707 610 98 175 77

That said, Biggio is on a list with Shoeless Joe and Babe Ruth. Can’t be all bad.

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