What Could Have Been
Luis Aparicio finished off his HOF career in Boston where he had 22 steals in 30 attempts in a three-year period. But go back a decade and a half and Little Louie led the league nine straight times. One tragic moment happened in 1972 when the Red Sox lost a game when Aparicio tripped over third and cost a run.
Fred Lynn was graceful and a splendid base runner, but not in the steals department except for one season. In Lynn’s last Boston year (1980) he went 12 for 12. Can’t beat 100%.
Rickey Henderson is the all-time steals leader and 12 times lead the league. With Boston for one year, the then 43-year-old Henderson stole eight bases in ten tries.
Sam Jethroe was a Rookie of The Year in 1950 and led the National League in steals in 1950 and 1951 while a member of the Boston Braves. Jethro, a Black, had received a try-out with the Red Sox in 1945 and was rejected.
Jackie Robinson was part of that try-out charade and is now in the Hall of Fame. Robinson twice led the National League in steals and was the most feared baserunner in baseball for almost a decade.
The color barrier had been broken and the Red Sox had an opportunity to sign a player who eventually led the National League in steals four times, but the passed on Willie Mays who had been recommended by their AA manager to Red Sox GM Joe Cronin.