One of the most thrilling plays in baseball doesn't even involve the batter or pitcher -- a straight steal of home. Without fail, these plays are electrifying and exciting to see.
Straight steals of home are rare, and that's one of the reasons they're so thrilling when they happen. Here are 13 must-watch steals of home.
Randy Arozarena, Rays -- Oct. 7, 2021 (ALDS Game 1)
Arozarena, who rewrote the record books with 10 homers in the 2020 postseason, launched his 11th career postseason home run before pulling off a straight steal of home in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Red Sox at Tropicana Field. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, and the left-handed-hitting Brandon Lowe at the plate, Arozarena broke for home and dove in with a headfirst slide to beat Christian Vázquez's tag, electrifying the home crowd with the rare feat.
Rougned Odor, Rangers -- June 9, 2019
Odor had reached base on an RBI double and was standing on third with the A's Ryan Buchter on the mound. Gold Glove third baseman Matt Chapman was playing well off the bag with a lefty at the plate in Shin-Soo Choo. Odor made a few fake attempts, then broke for home on a 1-1 pitch and slid in safely.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Blue Jays -- April 8, 2018
Gurriel swiped the bag off Red Sox ace Chris Sale with two outs in the fourth inning of the Blue Jays' 7-5 win over the defending World Series champs at Fenway Park. With Sale working from the full windup, Gurriel broke for home, and Sale rushed a wild pitch as Gurriel dove in safely.
Kevin Pillar, Blue Jays -- March 31, 2018
Pillar stole the show against the Yankees on Opening Weekend 2018. With the Blue Jays holding a one-run lead in the eighth inning, Pillar singled to right … and then proceeded to steal all three bases, one after the other, off reliever Dellin Betances. When Pillar scampered home safely, he became the first Blue Jays player ever to steal three bases in one inning.
Melvin Upton Jr., Padres -- June 3, 2016
Upton's slide was the highlight of his steal of home against the Rockies and starter Chris Rusin, who was pitching from a partial windup with his back to third base. Upton went feet-first into home, eluding catcher Nick Hundley's diving tag attempt and slapping his left hand on the plate as he skidded by -- an "almost Matrix-esque" slide, as manager Andy Green put it.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Yankees -- April 22, 2016
Ellsbury gave the Yankees a spark when he stole home off Rays left-hander Matt Moore in a 6-3 Bronx Bombers win at Yankee Stadium, diving past catcher Curt Casali to ignite the crowd. The Yankees knew all too well what an Ellsbury steal of home looked like -- he had pulled one off against them when he was with the rival Red Sox.
Elvis Andrus, Rangers -- Sept. 1, 2015
Andrus stole home off a right-hander -- the Padres' Kevin Quackenbush -- who, in theory, could have been staring him down at third base. But Quackenbush was focused on his stretch move and looking down, so Andrus broke for home. Quackenbush stepped off the rubber and fired home but yanked his throw wide of catcher Austin Hedges as Andrus slid in safely.
Jonathan Villar, Astros -- July 30, 2013
Villar was a 22-year-old rookie shortstop playing just his eighth big league game with Houston when he victimized the Orioles -- a club he would go on to play for in 2018 and '19. With left-hander Wei-Yin Chen's back turned to third base, Villar took a walking lead, sized up the situation and then pulled off the highlight-reel play.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox -- April 26, 2009
Here's Ellsbury's first memorable steal of home -- a thrilling moment at Fenway Park with the Red Sox taking on the Yankees. Ellsbury stole the base off veteran left-hander Andy Pettitte, who rushed a pitch to the plate in vain when he realized Ellsbury was going. Ellsbury dove in past Jorge Posada's tag attempt, and the Red Sox would go on to win the game and sweep their archrivals.
Omar Vizquel, Giants -- June 13, 2008
Vizquel was 41 years old in 2008 when he pulled off this steal of home against the A's. With two outs and the bases loaded, Vizquel caught Oakland left-hander Greg Smith napping. Smith was still in the middle of his stretch as Vizquel scampered toward the plate, and by the time catcher Kurt Suzuki got his attention and he stepped off and threw home, it was far too late.
Raul Mondesi, Blue Jays -- April 17, 2001
This was the senior Mondesi who pulled off a thrilling straight steal of home, not his speedster son Adalberto. All the way back in 2001 -- a year Raul hit 27 home runs and stole 30 bases -- Mondesi took advantage of Yankees lefty Randy Keisler pitching out of the windup while he was on third base, and he stole home with ease.
Paul Molitor, Brewers -- April 14, 1992
With fellow Hall of Famer Robin Yount at the plate, Molitor noticed Twins left-hander John Smiley go into his full windup and immediately broke for home. He made it easily, sliding in feet-first as the pitch got by Minnesota catcher Brian Harper. Molitor swiped three bags in the game.
Jackie Robinson, Dodgers -- Game 1, 1955 World Series
The most iconic steal of home of all time, from one of baseball's most iconic players. Robinson came flying in from third base to steal home against the Yankees and Whitey Ford -- despite catcher Yogi Berra's theatrical protestations to the umpire. The Yankees won the game, but the Dodgers won the series in seven games.