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Reigning NL MVP Makes History by Setting Braves Franchise Record

The reigning National League MVP is at it again. Coming off the first 40-70 season in MLB history, Ronald Acuña Jr. has 10 steals, which is one behind Elly De La Cruz for the league lead. However, Acuna stole his 190th career base on Monday setting a new franchise record for the Atlanta Braves. Acuña surpassed the Atlanta era record previously held by Rafael Furcal with 189 stolen bases. The four-time All-Star wasn’t even aware he was on the verge of another record.

“I didn’t know I was on the brink to be honest,” Acuña said through an interpreter. “Usually when I’m approaching a record, usually someone tells me or I see it online. This time I didn’t see it. But I think it’s better this way. It’s great. I didn’t even know what had happened.”

Ronald Acuña Jr. Breaks Braves Franchise Steals Record

Acuña is off to a slow start in terms of power as he has just one homer through Atlanta’s first 21 games. In September, he broke the Braves’ modern-era steals record set by Otis Nixon in 1991 with his 73rd stolen base. Atlanta’s right-fielder is in good company with his 190 career stolen bases sitting just 50 steals behind Hank Aaron (240). Herman Long holds the all-time Braves’ franchise steals record with 434 steals, while King Kelly holds Atlanta’s single-season franchise record with 84.

A four-time All-Star, Acuña suffered a complete tear of his anterior cruciate ligament which prematurely ended his season in 2021. Atlanta activated Acuña off the injured list in April and the outfielder went on to steal 29 bases in 2022. MLB implemented new rules ahead of the 2023 season encouraging more stolen-base attempts with larger bases to improve player safety. Braves manager Brian Snitker was vocal in his beliefs that the new rules didn’t lessen the significance of Acuña’s stolen-base totals.

“Pitchers still have to control the running game, even with the bases [bigger].”

Ronald Acuña now sits at 397th in all-time career steals, tied with Braggo Roth, Lorenzo Cain, and George Browne.

“I just ask God to keep me healthy, so I can keep playing well, keep breaking records, and most importantly keep helping the team win,” Acuña said.

Main Photo: © Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports


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