Gordon holds off Hamilton for stolen base title

Gordon holds off Hamilton for stolen base title

MIAMI -- Dee Gordon was in the dugout when he heard the news.

Word traveled to the speedster quickly during the Marlins' 8-5 loss to the Braves on Sunday that Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton wasn't catching him. For the third time in the last four years, the speedy Gordon would be taking home the Major League stolen base crown after tallying 60 stolen bases.

"It feels fast, I guess," Gordon said before chuckling. "Just trying to score runs for the boys, and I think I did that. It's an awesome achievement."

There was no shortage of dramatics, as the title came down to the last day of the season. Hamilton entered Sunday with 59 stolen bases but was denied the chance to notch any more than that in Cincinnati's 3-1 win over the Cubs.

Gordon found out immediately after Cincinnati's Jesse Winker was caught stealing third to end the ninth inning. Hamilton was on first at the time with a chance to tie Gordon.

A day after swiping two to pull ahead of Hamilton, Gordon was all smiles in the clubhouse postgame Sunday. Still, he's almost accustomed to pacing everyone else in the stolen base department.

"It's just another year," he said.

The 29-year-old Gordon has cemented himself as one of baseball's premier bag swipers over the last four seasons. He has 212 steals over that span. Only Hamilton (230) has more, and no other player has more than 160.

A.J. Ellis, Gordon's teammate on the Dodgers when he swiped 64 bases en route to his first title in 2014, said Gordon has been the club's catalyst atop the lineup all season long.

"He's just such a dynamic player, and it's both sides of the ball," Ellis said. "Just kind of reminding everyone again that this guy's a top-tier offensive second baseman and defensive second baseman."

To add some historical context, Gordon became the first player since 2003 to tally 200 hits and 60 stolen bases in one season. The last to do so was Juan Pierre with the Marlins during their World Series championship year.

Gordon and Giancarlo Stanton also became the first teammates to reach 60 stolen bases and 50 home runs, respectively, in a single season.

In addition, the last time baseball's home run and stolen base leaders came from the same team was in 1970, when Reds' Johnny Bench (45 home runs) and Bobby Tolan (57 stolen bases) paced the Majors.

Stanton, who had a historic season in his own right, said the two had been joking over the last month about who would end up with more in their respective category.

Gordon won by one.

"We had been messing with each other saying, 'Who's going to have more?'" Stanton said. "It's really cool. I'm happy for him."

Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.