Aparicio makes history with 500th career stolen base
But with his iron will and unflagging determination – not to mention electrifying speed – Aparicio became one of the game’s most durable shortstops and successful base thieves.
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“No one’s going to have to tell me when to go,” Aparicio told the Boston Globe. “I’ll know. I’ll tell myself.”
Aparicio retired with a record 2,581 games played at shortstop, a standard he would hold until fellow Venezuelan Omar Vizquel passed him in 2008. Aparicio never played a position other than shortstop in the big leagues, and he also retired with records for most double plays by a shortstop and most assists by a shortstop.
Aparicio still holds the big league record for most consecutive seasons leading the league in stolen bases: Nine, from 1956-64.
Aparicio retired with 506 steals, 2,677 hits and 1,335 runs scored. He amassed 13 All-Star Game selections, won nine Gold Glove Awards and was named the 1956 AL Rookie of the Year.
Aparicio was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984.
Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum