List of Major League Baseball career stolen bases leaders
In baseball statistics, a stolen base is credited to a baserunner when he successfully advances to the next base while the pitcher is throwing the ball to home plate. Under Rule 7.01 of Major League Baseball's (MLB) Official Rules, a runner acquires the right to an unoccupied base when he touches it before he is out. Stolen bases were more common in baseball's dead-ball era, when teams relied more on stolen bases and hit and run plays than on home runs.
Rickey Henderson holds the MLB career stolen base record with 1,406. He is the only MLB player to have reached the 1,000 stolen bases milestone in his career. Following Henderson is Lou Brock with 938 stolen bases; Billy Hamilton is third on the all-time steals listing. His number of career steals varies with different sources, but all sources hold his career steals placing him in third on the list before Ty Cobb (897), Tim Raines (808), Vince Coleman (752), Arlie Latham (742), Eddie Collins (741), Max Carey (738), and Honus Wagner (723), who are the only other players to have stolen at least 700 bases. Coleman is the leader for retired players that are not members of the Hall of Fame. Hugh Nicol is the leader for the most stolen bases in one season, with 138 stolen bases in 1887.
Brock held the all-time career stolen bases before being surpassed by Henderson in 1991. Brock had held the record from 1977 to 1991. Before Brock, Hamilton held the record for eighty-one years, from 1897 to 1977. Before that, Latham held the record from 1887 to 1896. Latham was also the first player to collect 300 career stolen bases. With Kenny Lofton's retirement in 2007, 2008 was the first season since 1967 in which no active player had more than 500 career stolen bases. Between 2008 and 2010, no active player had more than 500 stolen bases until Juan Pierre collected his 500th stolen base on August 5, 2010. He was the leader in stolen bases for active players until his retirement at the end of the 2013 season.
|Rank||Rank amongst leaders in career stolen bases. A blank field indicates a tie.|
|Player||Name of player.|
|SB||Total career stolen bases.|
|*||denotes elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame. |
|52||Ed Delahanty *||455|
|56||Joe Kelley *||443|
|57||John McGraw *||436|
|Tris Speaker *||436|
|63||Frankie Frisch *||419|
|65||Charlie Comiskey *||416|
|67||Craig Biggio *||414|
|73||Frank Chance *||403|
|81||Jesse Burkett *||389|
|89||Nap Lajoie *||380|
|90||Barry Larkin *||379|
|91||Harry Hooper *||375|
|George Sisler *||375|
|King Kelly *||368|
|99||Sam Crawford *||367|
- "Official Rules: 7.00 - The Runner". Major League Baseball. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
- Okrent, Daniel; Lewine, Harris (200). The Ultimate Baseball Book, Expanded and Updated. Mariner Books. p. 33. ISBN 0-618-05668-8.
- "Career Leaders & Records for Stolen Bases". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
- MLB Advanced Media. "Arlie Latham Stats, Video Highlights, Photos, Bio". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- MLB Advanced Media. "Honus Wagner Stats, Video Highlights, Photos, Bio". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- "Progressive Leaders & Records for Stolen Bases". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved February 20, 2015.