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Astros History: Vince Coleman

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The Astros outfield/baserunning coach Vince Coleman never played for the Astros but he did play for the Royals, which is why he is the Astros History spotlight for the Royals series.

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After three years in Germany and then six months in New Jersey, my family moved to Leavenworth, Kansas in 1992 for what would be a three year stay. I almost instantly feel in love with Kansas. The weather was nice. We had snow in the Winter, hot Summers and floods in between. I spent quite a few Summer days making the one hour trip to Kauffman stadium with my family. My mom liked Wally Joyner, I liked Brian McRae and unnoticed on the team was Vince Coleman.

I don't have any specific memories of Coleman when he played for the Royals in 1994 and part of 1995 but I'm sure I watched him play. At 32, Coleman was no longer the player that had lead the National League in stolen bases six years in a row from 1985 to 1990; However, he did have a rebound of sorts. In 104 games Coleman did what he hadn't done since 1990, steal 50 bases or more. Those steals came at a cost to the Royals though as Coleman had a .285 on-base percentage and was allowed to bat 477 times. The Royals were not very good when I had an opportunity to watch them on a regular basis.

The next year Coleman had a bit of a resurgence in his hitting with a .287 batting average, a .348 on-base percentage and a .399 slugging percentage. He still had a below average OPS+ but he also had 26 steals and was caught nine times. He was traded to the Seattle Mariners in August for a player to be named later. Jim Converse would eventually be sent to the Royals and pitch in 12 games games for them, all out of the bullpen.

Coleman would go on to help the Mariners finish first in the AL West by batting .290/.335/.395 with 16 steals and seven caught stealings. Coleman would collect five more stolen bases in the postseason while never being caught once. His batting line was a bit of an eye sore but the Mariners were able to advance to the ALCS where they were eliminated from the postseason by the Cleveland Indians.

Coleman would play two more seasons before finally hanging his uniform up. In his career he stole 752 bases good for sixth all-time.