With his eighteenth stolen base of the season Thursday night in Philadelphia, Will Venable inched one step closer to another milestone in his breakout season. Two more steals, when combined with his 22 homers, will give Venable just the tenth 20/ 20 season in Padres history.
The nine 20/ 20 seasons by Padres have been achieved by seven players; two players did the trick twice. Dave Winfield was both the first to do it and the first to do it twice. He had 24 HR and 21 SB in 1978, and went 20/ 23 in 1980.
After Winfield's second, it would be ten seasons before Padres fans had another 20/ 20 season. Joe Carter went 24/ 22 in 1990, and was joined three years later by Derek Bell and his 21/ 26 season. In 1996, Steve Finley had the first 20/ 20 season for the Padres with one component reaching the 30-mark. He hit exactly 30 homers and stole 22 bases. Reggie Sanders joined the club three years after that with 26 home runs and 36 steals, the closest any Friar has come to a 30/ 30 season.
Ryan Klesko became the sixth Padre to go 20/ 20 in 2000, with a 26/ 23 season. One year later, he put his name in the books as the first to do it in consecutive years. The next, and most recent time it has happened was in 2006 when Mike Cameron went 22/ 25.
In addition to the 20/ 20 club, Will is also likely to join the 20/ 20/ 20 club. He is currently sitting on 19 doubles. The Padres' 20/ 20/ 20 club consists of everyone in the 20/ 20 club except for Derek Bell, who hit 19 doubles in his 1993 season.
If for some reason Venable doesn't steal another base the rest of the season, he will still be in select company. As it stands now, this season is one of only 13 in team history by a player with 20 HR and a minimum of 18 SB. Along with the 20/ 20 guys, a young John Kruk had 20 homers and 18 steals in 1987. Ruben Rivera was 23/ 18 in 1999, nearly giving the Padres their first season with two members of the 20/ 20 club. Mike Cameron followed up his 2006 season with a 21/ 18 showing in 2007. He likely would have made it to 20 steals again if Milton Bradley hadn't stepped on his hand in the process of everything that could go wrong going wrong at the end of that season.
...but that's a story for a completely different day (or not; I'd just as well forget about it) so, uh, go Will!