MIAMI -- The next base Juan Pierre steals will have historical significance. Once achieved, Pierre will become just the 14th player in Major League history to steal at least 600 bases.
To be in such elite company is mindboggling to Pierre, the Marlins' 35-year-old left fielder.
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"I can't believe it," Pierre said. "If you said I was to steal one base in the big leagues, I would have said, 'You're crazy.' I never take it for granted. I'm grateful for every one of them."
|Player ||Steals |
|Rickey Henderson ||1,406 |
|Lou Brock ||938 |
|Ty Cobb ||892 |
|Tim Raines ||808 |
|Vince Coleman ||752 |
|Eddie Collins ||744 |
|Max Carey ||738 |
|Joe Morgan ||689 |
|Willie Wilson ||668 |
|Bert Campaneris ||649 |
|Honus Wagner ||639 |
|Kenny Lofton ||622 |
|Otis Nixon ||620 |
|Juan Pierre ||599 |
Pierre entered Wednesday with eight steals this season, which tops the National League. The speedster also is tied for the second most in Majors, trailing only Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury, who has 11.
In his 14th season, Pierre is proud that he is still able to swipe bases when everyone in the ballpark knows he is constantly looking to run.
"Everyone knows I'm trying to steal," he said. "It's no secret. It's a cat-and-mouse game. To be able to say I stole 600 bags is pretty special. When I get done playing, I'll look back on it."
When the milestone is reached, Pierre also hopes they present him with the base. It would only be fitting, especially since he was awarded the bag when he swiped No. 500.
"Hopefully, they will give it to me," Pierre said. "I have my 500. So hopefully, they'll give me the 600th, whenever that may be."
In his second stint with the Marlins, Pierre ranks third in the franchise's all-time steals list with 175. Luis Castillo is the club leader with 281, followed by Hanley Ramirez's 230.
"That's unbelievable with some of the guys I've passed," he said.
When Pierre was with the Dodgers, he picked up pointers from Maury Wills, who he has since overtaken on the all-time list. Wills finished his career with 586, which ranks 15th.
MLB's all-time leader is Rickey Henderson, whose 1,406 may be a record that is never broken.
"There are some names I shouldn't be on a list with," Pierre said. "That's how I feel."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro.