October 28th, 2022
Every year since 2015 — and three times before that — Taco Bell’s “Steal a Base, Steal a Taco” promotion has given fans the chance to win a free taco if a base is stolen during the World Series.
The tradition continued this year when the Phillies’ Kyle Schwarber delivered the first stolen base of the World Series in the seventh inning of Game 1 on Friday night.
• How to collect your free taco
This year, participants must register or be registered for a Taco Bell Rewards Program account on the Taco Bell mobile app to be eligible for the free taco. Visit tacobell.com to sign up for a free Taco Bell Rewards Program account and download the free Taco Bell mobile app. In addition, Taco Bell has a prediction game in the app. If a participant was able to correctly guess that Schwarber would steal the first base during the World Series, they will also receive a medium fountain drink with their taco.
The taco-clinching steal has happened in Game 1 of the Fall Classic each year since 2018, and the teams of past Taco Heroes are 8-2 in the World Series with championships in each of the past five years.
Here are all the players who have stolen a taco for America.
2022: Kyle Schwarber, Phillies
Schwarber? Yes, Schwarber! In fact, as surprising as it may appear at first, a closer look at Schwarber’s postseason history reveals a slugger who has picked his spots extraordinarily well when trying to swipe a bag on the biggest stage. Schwarber stole a base for the Cubs against Cleveland in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, and with his steal in Game 1 of this year’s Fall Classic, he’s 5-for-5 in postseason steal attempts. He also stole a career-high 10 bases during the regular season and was caught only once.
At least one person in America knew who would steal the nation free tacos. That was Schwarber’s teammate, Rhys Hoskins, who predicted it beforehand.
2021: Ozzie Albies, Braves
During a postseason in which stolen bases were back in vogue and an extremely successful strategy, it was fitting that Albies stole second in the top of the first inning of Game 1 of the World Series against the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Albies reached first base via an infield single, so he was warmed up and ready to swipe a bag and get America free tacos. He stole it easily — Houston catcher Martín Maldonado wasn’t even able to get a throw off to second base.
Taco Hero serves America!
2020: Mookie Betts, Dodgers
Chris Taylor appeared to swipe second base in the fourth inning during Game 1 — but it was quickly ruled that he advanced on a wild pitch from Rays starter Tyler Glasnow. Though taco-eager fans may have been disappointed with the scoring decision, they didn’t have to wait long for Betts to rectify the situation. The speedy outfielder worked a leadoff walk in the fifth, then promptly swiped second base. With that, Betts made history, becoming the first player to swipe a base in two different seasons to activate Taco Bell’s “Steal a Base, Steal a Taco” promotion. He later stole third before dashing home and narrowly beating the throw on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Max Muncy.
2019: Trea Turner, Nationals
As the leadoff batter for the visiting team in Game 1 of the 2019 Fall Classic, Turner recorded the fastest “Steal a Taco” swipe in the promotion’s history. After reaching on an infield single to shortstop on the second pitch of the game, Turner broke for second base on the first pitch to Adam Eaton — the third pitch of the game.
“My mom was asking me to win free tacos. I didn’t want to get yelled at so I figured I’d steal the base,” Turner said after the game, laughing. “I’m kidding. I just felt like being aggressive. Obviously with [Astros starter Gerrit] Cole out there, it’s tough to get runs across the board, so anytime I could take advantage of it, we figured we would.”
Two other leadoff hitters stole a base in the first inning of Game 1, but they both played for the home teams. In 2018, Betts of the Red Sox took second on the seventh pitch of the bottom of the first. Two years earlier, in ’16, it was Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor stealing second on the 10th pitch in the home half of the first.
Taco Hero serves America!
2018: Mookie Betts, Red Sox
Betts didn’t take long to earn the title of Taco Hero in the 2018 World Series against the Dodgers, stealing second base in Game 1 at Fenway Park after leading off the bottom of the first inning with a single.
“I just wanted some tacos,” Betts said with a smile after Game 1 when asked about his baserunning aggressiveness.
Betts swipes second in 1st
2017: Cameron Maybin, Astros
Maybin was overjoyed to be the Taco Hero in 2017, especially because it scored him some points with his kids. Maybin had just three plate appearances for the Astros in their seven-game World Series triumph over the Dodgers, but he clinched free tacos for America with his steal in the 10th inning of Game 2 and later dubbed himself the #StealABaseStealATaco guy. Perhaps energized by Maybin’s heroics, George Springer hit a go-ahead, two-run homer a few pitches later.
Maybin takes second in 11th
2016: Francisco Lindor, Indians
“Mr. Smile” Francisco Lindor spread happiness across the country and even caught the attention of President Barack Obama when he stole second base in World Series Game 1 against the Cubs, bringing free tacos to all.
Lindor takes second in the 1st
2015: Lorenzo Cain, Royals
Cain was well aware that he had earned a free A.M. Crunchwrap for all of America with his steal in the sixth inning of World Series Game 1 against the Mets, and he was more than a little hungry after the Royals’ 5-4, 14-inning win. “I need my Taco Bell before bed,” Cain said. “Who wants Taco Bell? It’s on me.”
2012: Ángel Pagán, Giants
Pagán not only earned free tacos for America with his steal in World Series Game 2 against the Tigers, but he also took part in the celebration by stopping by a San Francisco-area Taco Bell on giveaway day.
2008: Jason Bartlett, Rays
After a fifth-inning walk in Game 1 of the World Series against the Phillies, Bartlett took off for second and successfully stole the bag to become the second Taco Hero in as many years.
2007: Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox
Betts isn’t the only player to steal a taco for America at Fenway Park. The very first Taco Hero was also crowned at the historic venue, as Ellsbury stole second base in Game 2 of the Red Sox’s Fall Classic sweep over the Rockies in 2007.