Only high-speed photography could capture the elusive Coleman.
Why we like him: If Vince Coleman had been just a little better from the plate, he would have been Rickey Henderson. Built like an Olympic track athlete, Coleman was one of the fastest players ever to play the game. He played for 13 big-league seasons and amassed some pretty impressive stats for a guy who was never even remotely considered for the Hall of Fame.
"Vincent Van Go" owns several of Major League Baseball's most impressive baserunning records, and the way the game is played today, there is a good chance they could stand forever. Only Coleman and Henderson have three 100-steal seasons on record, but it was Coleman who stole more than 100 bases in three consecutive seasons. Not only that, but they just happened to be his first three seasons in the majors. Those three seasons are actually three of the six most productive base-thieving seasons in history.
Coleman never batted .300, which in my opinion, only emphasizes his effectiveness as a base-stealer. In arguably his best season in 1987, he batted .289 and stole 109 bases and finished 12th in MVP voting. The two-time All Star was the scariest baserunner on a team chock full of scary baserunners like Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee. It's just a shame his career didn't last a quarter of a century like Rickey Henderson's.
Vince Coleman stole 752 bases with 80% success in 13 seasons and playing more than 120 games in just six of them. Rickey Henderson stole 1406 with 81% success in 25 seasons. Coleman was a career .264 hitter. Henderson hit .279 and walked more than any other hitter in history except for Barry Bonds. If Vince Coleman had played for 25 full seasons, who knows what he could have accomplished.
Ladies and gentlemen, Vince Coleman, Ballplayer.