#Shortstops: Locastro’s stolen goods
Cooperstown is approximately 90 miles east of Locastro’s hometown of Auburn, N.Y. In an interesting twist, Auburn was also the childhood home of Abner Doubleday, the mythical father of baseball of who it was once said invented the game in Cooperstown in 1839.
After Locastro, the 28-year-old outfielder then with the Arizona Diamondbacks, on April 10 set a big league record (since 1951) with his 28th consecutive successful stolen base attempt to start his career, he donated the cleats he was wearing to the Hall of Fame.
The spikes are now on display in the Museum’s Today’s Game exhibit.
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“I got drafted by the Blue Jays in 2013 and Tim Raines was actually my base running coach until I was traded in 2015 to the Dodgers. So I had a few years under his tutelage. It’s pretty crazy how that worked out,” Locastro said. “He definitely helped me out a lot.”
In an interview with The Athletic, Raines said of Locastro: “I didn’t have to teach him much. He’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen.”
After extending the stolen base record to 29 on April 13, the speedy Locastro’s streak finally came to an end when he was caught stealing second base by Washington Nationals catcher Yan Gomes in the third inning on April 17. He was promptly removed from the game after dislocating his left pinky finger in the attempt. The injured digit, which needed to get four stitches, was placed into a splint.
The Diamondbacks put Locastro on the 10-day injured list on April 18, then traded him to the Yankees on July 1 in exchange for minor leaguer Keegan Curtis. On July 17, Locastro injured his right knee while making a leaping catch at Yankee Stadium, ending his season.
“I feel like my career is still young,” Locastro said. “I’m still up-and-coming. I just want to continue.”
Bill Francis is the senior research and writing specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum