Since MLB keeps every stat known to man, it shouldn’t be surprising that they keep track of the most at bats without a stolen base. And because of MLB’s penchant for keeping meaningless stats, you’re able to be introduced to Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Chris Synder.
You see, Snyder is said to be the slowest baserunner in MLB. A perception that Snyder desperately wants to shake. But it’s pretty hard to do so when you’ve had 2,094 straight at bats without a stolen base and everyone in the ballpark knows that you won’t be stealing a base anytime soon.
With 2,094 trips to the plate spanning eight-major league seasons, Snyder ranks fourth all-time for most career plate appearances without a stolen base, according to Stats Inc. Not only that, he’s on pace (pardon the expression) to creep his way up the list this summer. He needs just 95 plate appearances to eclipse Aaron Robinson, a catcher who retired in 1951, and 130 to plod his way past Johnny Estrada, another catcher who last played in 2008.
The twist is that Snyder would love nothing more than to erase his name from this list for eternity. All he needs is one steal—easier said than done.
“That’s the hot topic around here, man,” Snyder said. “Everyone’s talking about how slow I am: teammates, umpires, the coaches, everybody.”
Umpires? Those old guys? Snyder must be really slow.
As for acquiring that elusive steal, Snyder has been thrown out on both of his career attempts—though he came absurdly close as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2007. In a game against the San Diego Padres, he was the backside runner on an attempted double steal with teammate Chris Young. But then disaster, just a few feet short of second base. “I face-planted,” Snyder said. “Lost it, tripped, fell. And I would’ve had it, too.”
That’s sad. I think we should stop.