Strange But True feats of 2013

How wild and crazy was the thrill-a-minute baseball season of 2013?

So crazy that a guy actually stole FIRST BASE! . . . So insane that an Angels rookie had to hit the first homer of his career TWICE -- both off the same pitcher, but against two different teams! . . . And so downright nuts that Mariano Rivera entered a game in a save situation, spun a one-two-three inning and then DIDN'T GET A SAVE!

And if all that could happen in one year, it tells you everything you need to know about what a wacky, wonky, Strange But True kind of season it was. So now, before you get swallowed up by bowl games, confetti and Korbel Brut (not necessarily in that order), let's look back at the 2013 collection of the awesome Strange But True Feats of the Year.

Strangest But Truest Base Stealer of the Year


On the fateful evening of April 19, we finally found baseball's version of Leon Lett.

That would be Brewers shortstop Jean Segura, who, like the bollixed up driver whose GPS runs amok, performed an act of baserunning goofiness in a game against the Cubs that he'll be seeing, on 1.2 trillion blooper videos, for the rest of his life:

First, he stole second. Then he tried to steal third but somehow wound up "stealing" first. Then he got thrown out trying to steal second again. All in a span of five pitches.

Just don't try that on your Wii any time soon, OK? You might break both legs. Here's how this madness went down:

  • On a 2-and-2 pitch to Ryan Braun, Segura stole second. So far, pretty innocent, right? Don't worry. That'll change.
  • Three pitches later, with Braun on first (via a walk), Segura took off for third -- but broke too soon, got hung up in rundown mode and wound up (momentarily, at least) back on second base, where Braun was kind enough to join him.
  • So the Cubs, naturally, started tagging everyone in Milwaukee except Bob Uecker. And that meant Braun was out. But that was news to Segura, who thought he was the one who was out and started jogging toward the dugout.
  • A few seconds later, though, he got the memo that he was actually safe. So he did what any desperate human would do at a time like that: He saw that first base was unoccupied -- and "stole" it. Whereupon first-base coach Garth Iorg wouldn't let him leave.
  • Not until two pitches later, anyway -- when Segura broke toward second one more time and, in Take 2, got thrown out.

So, got all that? What you had here was the first man ever to steal second and get caught stealing second in the same inning -- without his team batting around. Except, of course, that that's not possible (or legal). So check out how our friends at Baseball-Reference.com tried to account for the fact that their computers still won't believe this really happened.

But as massive computer/baserunner/umpiring screwups go, this one was so much fun that former Brewers third-base coach Rich Donnelly told us he had an idea: Once a year, he said, baseball should liven things up by having EVERYBODY run the bases backward.

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