Marlins left fielder becomes 14th player in MLB history to reach feat
By Joe Frisaro
PHILADELPHIA -- The 600 Club has a new member.
After swiping third base in the first inning on Thursday night, Marlins left fielder Juan Pierre joined an exclusive list -- becoming just the 14th player in MLB history to steal as many as 600 bases.
"It feels good. When you start to mention the names, honestly, I don't feel like I deserve being mentioned with those guys," Pierre said. "I'm not big on stuff like that, but when it happens, it takes a moment to realize that you have been playing a little while, and you've accomplished that feat."
The stolen base was a highlight for the Marlins on a night they lost, 7-2, to the Phillies.
All-time stolen-base leaders
To honor the occasion, Pierre was awarded the base and a copy of the lineup card. Additionally, the team treated him with a stack of Hawaiian Punch drinks and Honey Bun cakes.
"I love Honey Buns and Hawaiian Punch," Pierre said. "I don't drink, so champagne, that doesn't do me any good. Hawaiian Punch and Honey Buns is a very good surprise. I don't know if I'll be able to eat all the Honey Buns, but I'll try."
Pierre entered the season with 591 steals, and he made his ninth of the season count.
Leading off against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, Pierre drew a walk off Kyle Kendrick, and he moved to second on Donovan Solano's single to center. Pierre took off for third and took the bag with a headfirst slide. He scored on Placido Polanco's double-play grounder.
"We got the base for him and gave it to him," manager Mike Redmond said. "Obviously, he's a tremendous competitor and teammate. What he's done over his career is just amazing."
A couple of days ago, the 35-year-old was humbled by the fact he was closing in on an impressive milestone.
Pierre leads the National League in stolen bases this season, and he has the second most in the Majors, trailing only Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury, who has 11.
"He's one of the best runners that I've ever seen," veteran Marlins catcher Miguel Olivo said. "He's fast. He's smart. When he gets a great jump, you don't even need to throw the ball. It's exciting to see that and be part of that. For him, 600 is a big number. I'm proud of him for that."
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."
Giancarlo Stanton, on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, tweeted a congratulations to Pierre.
Congrats to my boy @jpbeastmode , 600 steals... That's a bad man!
The veteran played for the Phillies in 2012, when he stole 37 bases. In his career, he has 32 stolen bases at Citizens Bank Park. The ballpark he has stolen the most bases is the Marlins' old home, Sun Life Stadium, where he had 91.
In his second stint with the Marlins, Pierre ranks third on the franchise's all-time steals list with 176. 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," Pierre 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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.