Atlantic League player becomes first professional to steal first base days after new rule is introduced

There are usually some odd things that happen during minor league and independent league baseball games. Whether it's a wacky promotion to bring fans to the ballpark, or a weird team name change, you can pretty much always count on something out of the ordinary happening at a game.

On Saturday, this proved to be true once again. During the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs' game against the Lancaster Barnstormers in the independent Atlantic League, outfielder Tony Thomas became the first player in professional baseball history to steal first base. Thomas was able to do so thanks to a recent experimental playing rule change as an agreement announced MLB and the Atlantic League

Per the ALPA/MLB press release, the rule states that batters may "steal" first base on any pitch not caught in flight, and that the batter can be thrown out if he attempts to run. Thomas made it to first base without a throw after an 0-1 pitch went to the backstop.

In case you need a refresher on how this is possible, over the winter, MLB and ALPB agreed to a partnership. As part of the three-year agreement, MLB can use the ALPB to experiment with new rules and standards.

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