Second base is also the simplest to steal since it is the furthest away from home plate, necessitating a longer throw from the catcher to prevent it. The catcher has a shorter throw to third base, but the runner has a longer lead off second base and can go for third base early against a left-handed pitcher. A right-handed batter can reach first safely by going for third on a long ball or being caught in a rundown.
Stealing second base is very risky because if the catcher throws out the thief then he or she gets thrown out. However, if the catcher does not throw out the runner then there is a chance that they will get into trouble if their team does not score soon after that. Second basemen are usually people who can hit with power but not so much contact-wise, which makes them good candidates to steal often but bad candidates to stay at second long term because they will likely be hit by pitches or thrown out.
In fact, only nine men have ever stolen more than 50 bases in their careers. Seven of those men played second base at some point during their career. Of the other two, one was Joe Sewell who stole 100 bases in 1884 when there were no restrictions on how many times a player could be put out while the other was Ty Cobb who stole 102 bases in 1911 when there were still several rules regarding what would now be called hits batsmen. Since then, no one has come close to Cobb's mark.
When it comes to stealing third base, unless a runner is really quick, it is nearly difficult for him to do it from a standstill. This is because the catcher has a shorter throw to make (than to second) and may build up a lot of momentum traveling to third base and make a fairly strong throw. Also, a batter can hit a ball hard enough that it will carry beyond the catcher into right field. This sometimes happens when a pitcher throws a sinker or cutter and it gets hit up in the strike zone.
The easiest way for a baserunner to get to third base is for the pitcher to walk him. If the pitcher does not, then either he or the catcher will have to go to first to give the batter an opportunity to move up. A baserunner can also reach third base if the catcher misses the pick-off throw and the batter runs quickly enough after hitting the ball. Or if the catcher makes a bad throw across the diamond to first base.
Stealing third base is harder if there is a runner on first base. This is because there is no way for the batter to advance the runner with a single or double. He would need to hit a home run to do so. It is also harder if there is a runner near second base. This is because the batter can hit a ball hard enough to advance both runners. However, with these situations, the catcher usually signals for a stolen base before the pitch even hits the plate.
When a base runner advances to the next base while the pitcher is throwing the ball to home plate, it is called a stolen base. Base stealers that are successful are not only quick, but also have outstanding baserunning instincts and timing. Because of this, many baseball experts believe that there is no such thing as a stolen home run. Although unlikely, it can happen. If a batter hits a ball off the wall in right field at Wrigley Field and it lands behind the bag before any defenders arrive, then it's possible for him to take home base by force.
In this case, the batter would be awarded first base because the ball landed in front of the bag. The batter could then attempt to advance to second base if anyone attempts to throw him out. If no one does, then he has scored a stolen home run.
This has never happened in MLB history, but it did in the minors. In 2001, Bill Hall of the Burlington Bees stole home plate after hitting a ball off the wall in right field at Greenville Drive games. No one was guarding the plate, so he took home base without being thrown out. He later advanced to second base when someone attempted to throw him out, but he stayed there until the end of the game when he was tagged out while trying to advance to third base. This is the only time anything like this has ever happened in the minor leagues.