In today’s game, there are few baserunners as daring or exciting as Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez. That’s not to say he’s always successful, but when El Mago gets on base, anything can happen.
He’s hardly the first Cubs player to wreak havoc on the base paths. In fact, more than a century ago, Hall of Fame infielder Joe Tinker left his mark on baseball history. Against the Reds at the Palace of the Fans in Cincinnati, Tinker stole home not once – but twice – in a single game, becoming the first big leaguer to ever accomplish the feat.
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To this day, just 11 players have stole home twice in one game – and no one’s accomplished the feat since Vic Power back in 1958. Tinker swiped 336 bags in his career, including 20 during this 1910 season. From 1902 to 1912, the Chicago infielder stole more than 20 bags every single year, including a career-high of 41 in 1904.
Tinker, of course, was a key part of arguably the greatest era in Cubs baseball ever. Yes, that’s right. Those teams were more accomplished than ever what we’ve seen since 2015, winning the World Series in 1907 and 1908, along with four pennants.
He was known for his glove more than anything else, anchoring the Chicago infield for more than a decade. Using FanGraphs WAR, he ranks as the 12th-best Cubs player ever – and his stealing of home twice in one game back in 1910 shows the breadth of his talents.
Chicago Cubs: Where does Joe Tinker rank among the team’s greats?
There are few infielders in Cubs history as well-known as Tinker – and it’s because of more ‘Baseball’s Sad Lexicon,’ which immortalized Tinker, along with teammates Frank Chance and Johnny Evers.
The trio earned enshrinement in the National Baseball Hall of Fame together in 1946. As this generation respects Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant – once, Tinkers, Evers and Chance held the same spot in fans’ hearts. Swiping home twice in one game is a pretty sure way to earn the respect of not only fans, but opponents, too.