Wong steals 2nd -- like, literally TAKES it

'Yadi, this is mine!'

August 20th, 2021

ST. LOUIS -- stole second base twice on Yadier Molina and the Cardinals on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.  

Once during the Brewers’ 10-inning, 6-4 win over the Cardinals.

And a second time after the game was over.

The Brewers shared video of Wong’s postgame escape with the base in hand after what Christian Yelich and manager Craig Counsell called one of the team’s best victories all season, since it saw Milwaukee come back from an early 3-0 deficit and the early exit of starter Freddy Peralta. Wong’s steal of second base -- the one that shows up in the box score -- occurred with the Brewers down a run in the eighth inning, and came at the expense of Wong’s former Cardinals teammate Molina.

After Wong singled and swiped second, he and Molina smiled widely at each other and shared some words. The Cardinals challenged the call, hoping that second baseman Tommy Edman had applied a tag before Wong’s fingers reached the bag, but to no avail. It helped the Brewers put runners at first and second with one out, but the threat fizzled when Yelich popped out in foul ground and Eduardo Escobar was called out on a high strike three.

Wong and the Brewers came away victorious after tying the game in the ninth inning and winning with three unearned runs in the 10th. After shaking hands on the infield, Wong marched over to second base, pulled it out of the ground and marched to the clubhouse.

“Yadi, this is mine!” Wong said in a video shared by the Brewers to social media.

He wasn’t kidding. On Thursday, Molina signed the base and inscribed it with a message for Wong, who plans to display it prominently in his home.

“As a young kid I caught all the way through high school, so Yadi is a guy I look up to,” Wong said. “He’s one of the all-time best catchers, I think, to ever play this game. To watch him as a young kid, play with him once I got into pro baseball, and then get a chance to steal a base off him, that kind of just solidified my career. I was telling my wife, ‘If this is the end, the fact that I got that off him, I’m so excited about how my career went.’”

Wong has been thinking about this for a while. His first series at Busch Stadium this season was cut short in the Brewers’ first game here when Wong suffered an oblique injury. This series marks their first time back.

“It was honestly giving me anxiety thinking about it,” Wong said. “I’ve been at second base tagging hundreds of guys out that tried and wanted to steal bases off Yadi and couldn’t do it. So to do that was so special to me. It means so much with how much that guy means to be and what he’s taught me.

“To see his expression, I was having fun, he was having fun. I want to make sure I’m showing him the respect. I think some people saw it as me maybe taking it too far, but at the end of the day I’ve spent so many years with this guy and building that chemistry and a friendship for life. To do that in Busch Stadium was a pretty cool moment for me.”

Incidentally, Counsell was asked whether he’d ever seen a player literally steal a base, and his answer was a surprising yes.

“I saw Rickey Henderson do it once,” Counsell said.

True story. Henderson hoisted broke Lou Brock’s single-season record for stolen bases in an A’s loss to the Brewers at County Stadium in August 1982, when Counsell’s father worked in Milwaukee’s front office. Counsell often attended games, and he was at that one. Henderson hoisted the base in the air, and it was presented to Henderson’s mother during a ceremony right there on the spot before play resumed.

After the game, “I sat in the golf cart and we gave Rickey a ride to his meeting with you wonderful folks,” Counsell told the media on Thursday. “I got a cool T-shirt out of it. I remember that.”