This angle of Ronald Acuña Jr.'s history-making stolen base is worth another look

Ronald Acuña Jr. is the greatest stolen base artist in the history of the Atlanta Braves franchise.
Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves
Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Ronald Acuña Jr. is well on his way towards owning a spot on the Atlanta Braves' Mount Rushmore. Admittedly, he still has a long way to go, but Acuña just set a franchise record in only his seventh season with the big-league club. With stolen base No. 190, he is the Braves' record holder for career stolen bases since the team relocated to Atlanta in the 1960s. He is only going to add to this total.

190 stolen bases does not seem like a lot, but you have to put in context a handful of other things with regards to the Braves and baseball in general. The Braves are coming up in being located in Atlanta for 60 years. Over that span, they have had many ball players fleet of foot. However, speed demons on the base paths have often not had staying power in Atlanta for some unknown reason.

Throughout much of my fandom, Atlanta has not often given its base runners the green light. It was part of the conservative Braves Way put together under Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz. Now that changes to the game have afforded more opportunities for Acuña to take advantage on the base paths, he is swiping bags left and right like they are going out of style. His game has benefited from it.

Check out this angle of Acuña's record-setting 190th stolen base in a Braves uniform from Monday.

Here is the in-game footage of the stolen bag, which he swiped at the bottom of the first inning.

His foot speed will eventually slow down, but we are looking at a guy who could steal 500 or so bags.

While he has not hit a ton of home runs this season, Acuña has made his presence felt on the bases.

Ronald Acuña Jr. is the Atlanta Braves' all-time stolen base record holder

To be fair, Acuña has usually been able to run well throughout most of his MLB career. Outside of the 2022 season where he was still working his way back from a torn ACL suffered the season before, Acuña has never been afraid to take what he thinks is his on the bases. This belief has only been expedited by changes to the game: The pitch clock and the number of times you can throw over.

I would also say that limitations of the infield shift and larger bases have contributed as well to Acuña's uptick in stolen bases over the last two seasons. Regardless, these same advantages have been available to anyone who has gotten on base. Few, if any, have taken advantage of these newfound opportunities quite like Acuña has. His base running is contributing to winning big time.

Overall, you have to appreciate what Acuña is trying to do every time he gets on base. While outs were viewed as too precious of commodities to waste in trying to steal a bag only a few years ago, Acuña has added excitement to baseball with this wrinkle in his game. More action creates more fans. Walks, homers and strikeouts are fine, but baseball always finds a way. This is a game of adaptation.

Congratulations on breaking the franchise record! May there be more stolen bases in your future.

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