Batter Steals First Base for First Time in Baseball History

Outfielder Tony Thomas took advantage of a new Atlantic League rule

Tony Thomas stealing first base (SoMD Blue Crabs/Twitter)
Tony Thomas stealing first base (SoMD Blue Crabs/Twitter)
By Evan Bleier / July 15, 2019 11:20 am

Over the weekend a player pulled off a baseball first by stealing first base during a game for the first time in the history of the sport.

Following an 0-1 pitch in a game on Saturday, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs outfielder Tony Thomas hustled out of the batter’s box and got down the line to first before he could be thrown out. Thomas was taking advantage of a new rule which was adopted by the independent Atlantic League that allows batters to steal first base if a pitch is not caught cleanly by the catcher.

According to the Atlantic League rule: “Batters may ‘steal’ first base on any pitch not caught in flight (the batter can be thrown out if he attempts to run).

By the letter of the law, the play is scored as a fielder’s choice.

After his historic theft, Thomas talked about the moment he made baseball history.

Thomas was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 3rd round of the 2007 MLB draft out of Florida State University. The veteran ballplayer has hit more than 10 home runs in each of his past eight seasons, including 18 in 2017 and a career-high 25 in 2018.

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