In 1959, a Luis Aparicio-led Chicago White Sox squad stole 113 bases in the regular season before winning an AL pennant. Their blazing speed and aggressive baserunning ability ultimately earned them a nickname, too: the ‘Go-Go’ White Sox.
55 years later, the No. 10 TCU Horned Frogs have stolen 78 bases in 57 games and made history twice in two days: winning a Big 12 title and earning a national seed.
Maybe it’s time to start calling them the ‘Go-Go’ Frogs.
While TCU’s pitching takes center stage in the minds of most (and for good reason), an often-overlooked statistic is how the Frogs (42-15, 17-7 Big 12) perform on offense once they get on base.
The 2013 TCU squad (29-28, 13-12 Big 12) stole only 38 bases on 53 attempts, according to GoFrogs.com. As for the reigning Big 12 champions, they’ve stolen 40 more bases on 61 more attempts in the same number of games.
To put it simply: TCU has become much more aggressive once they get on base.
Horned Frog head coach Jim Schlossnagle acknowledged TCU’s added aggressiveness when speaking to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal in March.
Junior center fielder Cody Jones holds the distinction as the Frogs’ most talented baserunner and even his numbers have skyrocketed.
Jones led the team with 13 stolen bases in 17 attempts during the 2013 season. This year, his numbers have jumped to 25 steals on 30 attempts, which again leads the Frogs and also ranks highest in the Big 12.
With the added aggressiveness, TCU’s ratio of successful steals vs. attempts has actually dropped from 71.6 percent to 68.4 percent, but the extra bases and runs more than make up for it.
The purple and white scored 246 runs in last year’s regular season. By the end of the 2014 regular season, the team had 302 runs to its name.
With a potent mixture of improved hitting and aggressive baserunning, the Frogs’ offense has become a challenge in and of itself. Combine that with the Big 12’s top pitching team with a paltry 2.26 ERA and you have yourself a contender.
Even the analysts agree. In a recent press release, eight ESPN college baseball analysts picked who they believe will make it to the College World Series.
Seven picked the Frogs.
TCU officially begins its postseason Friday night against Siena in the first round of the Fort Worth Regional. First pitch is at 7:00 p.m. from Lupton Stadium and the game is expected to be broadcast on ESPN3.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the 1959 White Sox won the World Series. The Sox actually lost to the Dodgers that season.