MLB.com is digging back into its massive video vault to uncover classic plays that you have loved, forgotten about or, perhaps, are discovering for the very first time. Watch these moments and many, many more on the MLB Vault YouTube page.
April 2, 1996: 1,000+ games in, Fielder gets first steal
Statcast’s sprint speed metric wasn’t around back in 1996, but if it was, let’s just assume that Cecil Fielder — known more for stealing pitcher’s souls with stadium-clearing home runs than stealing bases — would have been somewhere toward the bottom of the leaderboard. Still, Fielder’s final career statistics do include two stolen bases, and it took him 1,097 career games to swipe the first one shown here.
Fielder’s 1,097 career games logged before his first steal is still a Major League record, per the Elias Sports Bureau, and he would have to wait longer had Twins shortstop Pat Meares not dropped the throw from catcher Greg Myers. But a steal is a steal, and the swipe was so unexpected that Fielder wanted to take second base home with him.
Oct. 1, 2000: Halter plays all nine positions
Tigers manager Phil Garner spiced up an otherwise meaningless season finale between the Tigers and Twins when he announced that his utilityman, Shane Halter, would becime just the fourth big leaguer to play all nine positions in the same game. Halter began at first base and then rotated around to third, right field, center, left, shortstop, catcher, pitcher (where he walked his only batter) and finally second.
Garner’s lineup juggling meant that his regular catcher, Brad Ausmus, made the first of just four total appearances at third base across his 18-year career. Another Tiger, Austin Romine, would become the fifth Major Leaguer to play all nine positions in 2017.
June 30, 2014: Rajai’s walk-off grand slam
Yes, you likely know about one extremely clutch late-game homer off Rajai Davis’ bat, but don’t forget about this blast from 2014. Davis provided the perfect exclamation point to a night in which the Tigers honored the 1984 World Series champion club, lining an “ultimate slam” (a walk-off slam in a team’s final at-bat when trailing by three runs) off A’s All-Star closer Sean Doolittle