Acuña establishes 40-70 club to key Braves' comeback win over Cubs
Yet another club has been established with Ronald Acuña Jr. as its only member.
Acuña became the founding member of MLB's 40-70 club by stealing his 70th base of the season in the 10th inning of the Atlanta Braves' game against the Chicago Cubs at Truist Park.
Acuña is now the only player in major league history to hit 40 homers and steal 70 bases in a single campaign. He's also the lone member of the 40-50 club and 40-60 club, and only the fifth player to go 40-40. Before this year, only two others - Rickey Henderson, who did it twice, and Eric Davis - had even recorded a 20-homer, 70-steal campaign.
The 25-year-old also became just the fourth player to swipe 70 bags this century, joining Scott Podsednik (70 in 2004), Jose Reyes (78 in 2007), and Jacoby Ellsbury (70 in 2009), per Stathead. He now sits two steals shy of tying Otis Nixon's modern-era Braves single-season stolen-base record.
"(I'm) very happy, most of all that we were triumphant in tonight's game," Acuña told Bally Sports Atlanta via an interpreter postgame.
He added: "It was a super emotional game, and I'm extremely happy to have created the 40-70 club."
Moments after the historic steal, Acuña raced home to score the winning run on Ozzie Albies' walk-off single, giving the Braves a 6-5 comeback victory. It clinched the NL's No. 1 seed for Atlanta, giving the team home-field advantage through the NLCS.
Acuña came into Wednesday's game with 68 steals and, for most of the night, it looked like the milestone would have to wait. He grabbed steal No. 69 after an eighth-inning single, moments before scoring on an Albies base hit to tie the game at 3-3.
The Venezuela native all but wrapped up the NL MVP with his performance on Wednesday. Acuña is now hitting .336/.414/.596 with 213 hits, 79 extra-base hits, 104 RBIs, and 146 runs scored while striking out just 82 times in 723 plate appearances this season. His RBI total is now the second-most by a leadoff hitter since the statistic became official in 1920, according to Sarah Langs of MLB.com.
His incredible season comes only two years after he suffered a torn ACL that forced him to miss the Braves' World Series run in 2021.