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Tuesday Bantering: Congratulations Dan Shulman

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

December 1st. Only one month left in this Clemensing year. I’ll be happy to have this year in the rearview mirror.There isn’t much for Blue Jays news, yet again. There was a tweet yesterday saying that the Jays were about to make some news, but then I never believe things like that.

Dan Shulman has been named winner of the Jack Graney award from the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. Past winners include W.P. Kinsella, Tom Cheek, Bob Elliott, Richard Griffin, Dave Van Horne, Jeff Blair, and Alison Gordon.Dan has been working in sports broadcasting since 1991. He started doing Blue Jays play-by-play in 1995. And he worked for ESPN from 2001 to 2017.

He is very deserving of the award. He is excellent on the broadcasts. I would be happy if he was the full-time TV play-by-play man again this year.Shulman is also in the running for the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award.

Congratulations, Dan, this is a well-earned honor. But it doesn’t mean you get to retire.

I was thinking about MLB records that won’t be broken in my lifetime. There are many of them, but the one I was thinking about was Rickey Henderson’s career stolen base record.

Henderson has 1406 career steals. I can’t imagine anyone getting to that number the way baseball is now. The active leader is Dee Gordon (whoops Dee Strange-Gordon), with 333 at age 33. Baseball has changed. We know that the cost of a caught stealing is double the value of a successful stolen base.

And few guys get on first as often as Rickey did. He would get on first base 200 times a season, in his prime.Add in that speed was valued more back in the early 80s. Early versions of artificial turf were just carpet, and it didn’t slow down ground balls at all. Teams liked to have fast outfielders to cut off better balls hit before they got to the wall. And it was easier to steal on turf than grass. You had a better surface to run on.

Baseball’s leader in steals in 2019 was 46 by Mallex Smith. If he did that 30 years in a row, he’d still be short of Rickey’s number.There are a bunch of other records that will outlive me—consecutive games for sure.