Esteury Ruiz USA Today

Oakland A’s rookie Esteury Ruiz never anticipated his name being in the same sentence with Rickey Henderson, let alone the same history book.

But that’s what happened on Friday night when he stole his 34th and 35th base of the season, to continue leading the majors in the category. The numbers surpassed Henderson for the second-most stolen bases by a rookie in Oakland history.

From the beginning, since Ruiz was traded to the A’s by the Atlanta Braves in the Sean Murphy deal, he had been touted regarding his blazing speed.

“It’s special,” Ruiz told’s Martín Gallegos on Friday. “I know I get compared a lot to him when it comes to stealing bases. They say nothing is unreachable, but I’d say his [all-time stolen base] record is unreachable. Of course, it makes me feel good. It’s something I feel proud to have accomplished.”

Henderson holds the all-time MLB record for stolen bases at 1,406.

Following the A’s 6-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night, A’s manager Mark Kotsay was asked about Ruiz’s feat.

“I remember talking about [Ruiz] in April and someone asked whether he would get to 65 or 70 bases this year,” Kotsay said. “My comment was, ‘I truly believe so.’ He continues to get on base and steal bases. It was one of the better arms behind the plate and he stole third base on him. We’ve seen the speed. It’s real, and it’s quite an accomplishment if you’re being mentioned in the same sentence as a Rickey Henderson.”

Ruiz’s speed doesn’t end on the bases, either. He has the innate ability to cover ground in the outfield. And for someone who bats leadoff to tack on runners in scoring position has been impressive.


About Jessica Kleinschmidt

Jess is a baseball fan with Reno, Nev. roots residing in the Bay Area. She is the host of "Short and to the Point" and is also a broadcaster with the Oakland A's Radio Network. She previously worked for and NBC Sports Bay Area.