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Ellsbury, Crawford running like they're in the 1980s

Jacoby Ellsbury finished the first half by swiping his 40th base yesterday, joining Hall of Famer Tris Speaker as the only players in Red Sox history to steal at least 40 bases in back-to-back seasons. Ellsbury is also just 15 steals away from breaking the Red Sox's single-season record of 54 steals, which was set by Tommy Harper in 1973.

Ellsbury is on pace for 73 steals, which would make him just the third player this decade to top the 70 mark along with Jose Reyes in 2007 and Scott Podsednik in 2003. Of course, with 44 steals already Carl Crawford may join the club before Ellsbury. The last time two players stole at least 70 bases in the same season was way back in 1991, when Marquis Grissom swiped 76 and Otis Nixon swiped 71.

Before that Rickey Henderson and Vince Coleman both topped 70 in 1988 and Henderson, Coleman, Tim Raines, and Eric Davis all did it in 1986. In fact, with Henderson, Coleman, and Raines all in their primes at least two players stole 70 bases in 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, and 1988. Incidentally, Ellsbury was born in 1983 and Crawford was born in 1981.

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