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The fast, the slow and the really slow

OK, on your mark, get set, go. It's time for all the Useless Speed Information we can round up -- meaning get ready for a whole bunch of numbers on stolen bases and triples.

THE TIM RAINES AWARD
Raines had the best stolen base percentage in baseball history (84.7 percent) among players with at least 300 attempts. But that record might not hold up much longer if Carlos Beltran keeps on swiping at his current clip. Here's the top of the SB heap among active players, courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau's fleet-footed Ken Hirdt:

THE ZIP COLLINS AWARD
Here's a group trying to win one for the Zipper -- who owns the worst SB percentage of all time (15 for 52, 29 percent) among players with 50 or more attempts. It's the active players with the worst career SB success rates:


THE RICKEY HENDERSON AWARDS
Ever wonder who steals which base most often? Retrosheet.org founder Dave Smith contributed these tremendous lists ranking all active players according to each base they pilfered:



* The Giants released Marquis Grissom earlier this month.

TRIVIALITY
Three active players came into this season working on streaks of at least five straight seasons with 20 stolen bases or more. Three more players have gotten to five by stealing 20 already this season. How many of those six can you name? Answer: Click here.

THE WILLIE WILSON AWARD
We don't know what the record is for most infield hits in one season. But it's a good bet it was held by Wilson, the consensus Fastest Guy I Ever Saw choice of baseball men everywhere who can remember back that far.

Here is this year's infield-hit leaderboard through Thursday, courtesy of the inimitable Houston Astros media relations gang:

THE WAHOO SAM CRAWFORD AWARD
If there's anything we love more than triples, it's players who hit lots and lots of triples. Back in the day when you could hit a line drive and it could roll up the alley and down the street (literally), ol' Sam Crawford had 17 seasons of 10 triples or more. Here are the active players who have no hope of matching that, but do have the most double-figure triple seasons among the current baseball populace:

* 10 or more triples this year

THE RUSS NIXON AWARD
Once upon a time, there was a catcher named Russ Nixon who played 906 games over 12 seasons and never stole a base. Not one. Can anyone catch him? Well, among active players, these are the five guys with the best shot:

THE HARRY SPILMAN AWARD
Back in the '70s and '80s, one of our favorite players was that immortal utility dynamo, Harry Spilman. Ten seasons into his storied career, he owned zero stolen bases and zero triples. Which isn't easy. But then, in year 11, he actually tripled. And in year 12, he stole a base. And in year 13, he (what else?) retired.

In his honor, here are the active players with the most games played without either a triple or a steal (and a couple of these names will sound familiar):

THE CARL CRAWFORD AWARDS
Down in exotic Tampa Bay, Carl Crawford is truly a player out of a whole 'nother era. He spews out triples about once a week. He's a perennial 50-steal man. And that has placed him on a career path you just don't see much anymore. Here are some of his greatest claims to fame, courtesy of Devil Rays media relations genius Rick Vaughn:

Crawford is just the sixth player since 1950 to whack 30 triples or more over any two-year span. The others: Cristian Guzman, Lance Johnson, Juan Samuel, Garry Templeton and Willie Mays.

Just over the last three seasons, Crawford is up to 41 triples and 148 stolen bases. And you don't see that daily double much. The only players who equaled or beat those numbers over any three-year period in history were Samuel (1984-86), Max Carey (1922-24), Ty Cobb (six times in the 1900s and 1910s) and Honus Wagner (three times in the late 1890s and early 1900s).

Crawford had stolen 157 bases by the time he turned 24 this month. And only six players have ever had more steals decorating their 24th birthday cake: Rickey Henderson (319), Ty Cobb (254), Tim Raines (228), Cesar Cedeno (205), Sherry Magee (184) and Eddie Collins (166).

Crawford's triple Wednesday was his 47th in 485 games and 2,020 career at-bats. Which means he averages one triple every 42.9 AB. So how long has it been since any active player was running around with a career triple rate that good? Would you believe almost 70 years ago? The last was Carl Reynolds, who had 107 triples in 4,495 at bats (one every 42 AB) during 1927-39.

THE OTTO VELEZ AWARD
Some teams run as if they grew up in Kenya. And then you have other teams. Teams like the Washington Nationals. Teams that think a "steal" is something you can only find in a closeout sale at Wal-Mart.

At the moment, those basepath dervishes in D.C. are the only team in the big leagues that has been thrown out stealing more times (34) than it's been safe (31).

That might not seem too impressive, but guess again. Only two teams in the last 20 years have run up more caught-stealings than steals in a season -- Bob Zupcic's '92 Red Sox (48 CS, 44 SB) and Mauro Gozzo's '94 Mets (26 CS, 25 SB).

But of course, 1994 was a strike-shrunken season. So if we're just talking full seasons, no National League team has had a year like this in almost three decades -- since Milt May's 1973 Pirates stole 22 bases, but got thrown out 29 times.

If you're wondering, the Nationals have no shot at the worst SB percentage by any team in the expansion era (40 percent). That honor is held by Velez's 1978 Blue Jays, who managed to get thrown out in 52 of their 70 stolen-base attempts (74.3 percent). Incredible.

THE WILLIE MCGEE AWARDS
Never again, we'd bet, will we see another run-a-holic team like McGee's 1980s Cardinals -- the UNLV of baseball. But obviously, some teams steal more than others. So here are the clubs with the most stolen bases since 1995 (through Thursday):

NATIONAL LEAGUE: Astros, 1,340; Reds, 1,338; Marlins, 1,299

AMERICAN LEAGUE: Royals, 1,294; Mariners, 1,264; Twins, 1,234

THE FAYE THRONEBERRY AWARDS
In 1957, Throneberry and his pals on the 57-win Washington Senators set a modern baseball record -- for fewest stolen bases in one season (13). In honor of that lead-footed group, we present the teams with the fewest steals since 1995:

AMERICAN LEAGUE: A's, 715; Red Sox, 758; Rangers, 843

NATIONAL LEAGUE: Cubs, 862; Giants, 936; Mets, 973

THE REGGIE JEFFERSON AWARD
Finally, which team has made the avoidance of the stolen base a veritable franchise tradition?

That would be those slow-mo Red Sox, of course. Barring a last-minute eruption of flashing feet, this will be, amazingly, the 31st straight season in which they've stayed under 100 steals.

So how astounding is that? Not only is no other team even remotely close -- but Rickey Henderson and Vince Coleman have stolen 100 bases in a season three times apiece since the last time Boston's whole team swiped 100.

Jayson Stark is a senior writer for ESPN.com. Send your Useless Information to uselessinfodept@yahoo.com.