On the list of exciting plays in all of sports, stealing home has to be near the top. It requires speed, guts and the element of surprise.
Now baseball fans have more than one reason to get excited when a daring speedster takes the plate. MLB.com and Quicken Loans are partnering for the Steal-A-Home Sweepstakes.
Each time an MLB player successfully steals home (as determined by the game’s official scorer) during a regular-season game, one lucky person will win a package that includes one mortgage-free month (up to $1,500). The winner will also receive a prize package that includes the following:
- Two tickets to an MLB game
- Two MLB jerseys
- Two MLB.TV subscriptions
- One $150 Fathead gift card
It gets better. One lucky grand prize winner will win a mortgage-free year (up to $12,000) courtesy of Quicken Loans. Additionally, the winner will receive a trip for two to Game 1 of the World Series, including two tickets to the game, round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations.
We know what you’re thinking: It’s extremely hard to steal home plate. It’s true that this is difficult, but it’s not impossible. Former Detroit Tiger and Philadelphia Athletic Ty Cobb was the most prolific thief of home plate, taking home an astounding 54 times in a career that spanned 23 years.
The game has definitely changed, and no one is likely to touch Cobb’s record. Still, modern speed demons like Elvis Andrus, C.J. Cron and Alex Rios were among those that contributed to your total of eight steals of home plate in 2015.
Raw speed alone often isn’t enough to get the job done. Sometimes it takes a little planning to pull off a shocking play.
Breaking Down Home Plate Theft
Stealing home plate is more often an art than it is a science. Even if you have all the speed in the world to take off like a rocket, it doesn’t take that long for the ball to get between the pitcher and catcher. Successfully stealing home requires a different strategy.
If you’re lucky, maybe one day the defense gets a little too sleepy and decides to take a mental nap after you’ve lured them into a false sense of security. In that case, you can get a big lead, take off and be halfway home before the pitcher notices. This tactic was successfully employed by Elvis Andrus of the Texas Rangers last year.
There’s a second strategy that’s maybe more commonly utilized now. In the delayed double steal, there are runners on first and third. The runner takes off from first looking to steal second. When the catcher throws down to second, the runner on third takes off to attempt stealing the plate, a technique employed by C.J. Cron for the Los Angeles Angels.
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