The Oakland Athletics hosted the Chicago White Sox on Friday to open a three-game series that will see the A's close June and open July in a smooth way playing three games at home against the same ball club.
Esteury Ruiz, the A's rookie outfielder, got his 41st steal of the season against the Sox on Friday, making it 41 thefts in 81 games for him this season. The A's have played 84 total games, of which Ruiz has only missed three. Not that it matters that much, though, as what Ruiz is doing is approaching historic heights no matter what.
In MLB history, only 61 players got to steal at least 40 bases through the first 84 games played by their teams. Ruiz, of course, is in that select list of legends.
Not happy enough with that, Ruiz (41) is the first player to do it since Billy Hamilton accomplished the feat all the way back in 2015 when he had stolen 42 bases in 76 games (through the first 84 games played by Cincinnati).
Only six players have stolen 40+ bases through the first 84 games of their teams this century: Ruiz, Hamilton, Dee Strange-Gordon, Carl Crawford, Jose Reyes, and Scott Podsednik. That's it, that's the list for you.
More impressively, though, Ruiz has done it in his second season playing MLB baseball but still qualifying as a rookie having only appeared in 17 games (36 PA) last year while splitting time with the San Diego Padres and the Milwaukee Brewers organizations.
Of the six aforementioned players, Ruiz is tied for the youngest to accomplish the feat as he's barely 24 years old. All other five players listed above were between 24 (Reyes and Hamilton) and 29 (Podsednik) years old when they did it.
The future is bright for Ruiz, and the A's rookie has another milestone super close on his road to achieving greatness: one more steal and he'll tie the organization record for stolen bases by a rookie with 42 in a single season, posted by Mitchell Page in 1977.