PENSACOLA, Fla. — Cincinnati Reds minor leaguer Billy Hamilton bolted to his record 146th stolen base of the season and kept running Tuesday night, swiping four in the first game of Double-A doubleheader.
Hamilton added his 147th steal in the final inning of Pensacola’s 4-2 loss to Montgomery. Hamilton stole 104 in the first half of the season with Class A Bakersfield, then was promoted to the Southern League.
Hamilton broke the record for steals by minor league teams affiliated with big league organizations set by Vince Coleman in 1983 with 145 for Macon in the Class A South Atlantic League.
The modern major league record was set by Rickey Henderson with 130 in 1982.
Hamilton stole second base in the first inning, then swiped second and third in the third inning to eclipse Coleman’s mark.Hamilton made a headfirst slide for the record-breaker and Pensacola manager Jim Riggleman, who was coaching third base, gave him a hearty handshake as the crowd rewarded the speedster with a standing ovation.
Hamilton’s teammates came out of the dugout to applaud him. Ryan LaMarre, who was batting at the time for the Blue Wahoos, came down the third base line to congratulate him.
The 21-year-old Hamilton has been caught stealing 33 times this season. He has forced many errors and balks while on the bases.
Hamilton has played 120 games this year. Coleman played 113 games during his record-setting season and was caught stealing 31 times.
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