America has a new ‘Taco Hero.’
Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Kyle Schwarber stole the first base of the World Series in Game 1 against the Houston Astros on Friday, activating Taco Bell’s highly-anticipated ‘Steal a Base, Steal a Taco’ promotion nationwide.
Schwarber reached first base on an infield single off Astros reliever Bryan Abreu in the top of the seventh inning with everything tied up, 5-5. Schwarber, who is nursing a knee injury, then stole second base to move into scoring position with only one out.
That means Americans can now acquire one free Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco, and, unlike other years, participants don’t have to wait days to claim their prize. A free taco can be snagged starting on Friday night.
Schwarber as endeared himself in America’s heart (and stomach), but he has also given the Phillies a stroke of good luck. In the past 11 years that Taco Bell has been running its mouth-watering Fall Classic promotion, the team of the ‘Taco Hero’ has won the World Series 8-of-10 times.
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How does ‘Steal a Base, Steal a Taco’ work? Who has won? Let’s taco ’bout it:
How to redeem free Taco Bell tacos
Participants must download the free Taco Bell mobile app and register for a free Taco Bell Rewards Program account to be eligible for one free Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco after the first stolen base of the World Series. According to Taco Bell, participants must sign up ‘within 10 days after the stolen base to snag this sweet deal!’
Taco Bell even added a twist this year. Participants were able to guess who would steal the first base of the World Series. Those who guessed correctly in the app won a free medium fountain drink with their taco. (Predictions closed Thursday evening.)
Here’s every ‘Taco Hero’ in World Series history
Every World Series yields a winner, a loser, a MVP, and since Taco Bell implemented its ‘Steal a Base, Steal a Taco’ promotion in 2007, every Fall Classic has a ‘Taco Hero.’
What’s that? The first player from either team to successfully steal a base in the World Series and steal a taco for Americans is dubbed the year’s ‘Taco Hero.’
Here’s every ‘Taco Hero’ since Taco Bell’s tradition began:
2021: Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves
America won free tacos only three batters into the 2021 World Series. Albies used his speed to beat out an infield single in the top of the first inning of Game 1 against the Houston Astros, then promptly stole second base in the Braves’ 6-2 win.
The Braves won the World Series 4-2.
2020: Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers outfielder became the first two-time honoree when he stole second base in the fifth inning of Game 1 in his team’s 8-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in 2020, two years after his steal in the 2018 World Series triggered the freebie.
The Dodgers went on to win the World Series 4-2.
2019: Trea Turner, Washington Nationals
Turner reached base with a single on the second pitch of Game 1, and then immediately stole second to earn everyone a free Doritos Locos Taco. The Nationals won 5-4.
‘My mom was asking me to win free tacos,’ Turner said postgame, jokingly adding, ‘I didn’t want to get yelled at so I figured I’d steal the base.’
The Nationals went on to win the series in seven games.
2018: Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
In the bottom half of the first inning of Game 1 of the World Series in 2018, Betts led off with a single up the middle, then stole second base on the very next pitch. The Red Sox won 8-4 in Game 1 and won the World Series in five games.
2017: Cameron Maybin, Houston Astros
Outfielder Maybin singled in the 11th-inning of Game 2 of the World Series against the Dodgers. The single also set him up to steal second in the Astros’ 7-6 win. Maybin ended up scoring the go-ahead run when George Springer followed him with a homer to right field in extra innings.
Houston won the Fall Classic in seven games.
2016: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland
The shortstop stole a base in the bottom of the first inning in Cleveland’s 6-0 win over the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of the World Series at Progressive Field. It even caught the attention of then-President Barack Obama.
The Cubs won the World Series in seven games.
2015: Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City Royals
The Royals outfielder stole second base in the bottom of the sixth inning of his team’s 5-4 win over the New York Mets in Game 1 of the World Series in 2015. This year, however, America got free Taco Bell A.M. Crunchwraps, corresponding with Taco Bell’s ‘Steal a Base, Steal a Breakfast’ promotion.
‘Who wants Taco Bell?’ Cain said afterwards. ‘It’s on me.’
The Royals won the World Series, 4-1.
2012: Ángel Pagán, San Francisco Giants
Pagán stole a base in the eighth inning of the Giants’ 2-0 win over the Detroit Tigers in Game 2 of the World Series at AT&T Park. Pagan not only won America free tacos, but he helped serve them at a Taco Bell location. The Giants swept the Tigers in the World Series.
2008: Jason Bartlett, Tampa Bay Rays
Bartlett stole second base in the bottom of the fifth inning in the Rays’ 3-2 loss to the Phillies in Game 1 of the World Series. The Rays lost the World Series to the Phillies, 4-1.
2007: Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox outfielder was the first ‘Taco Hero’ with a steal of second base in Game 2 of the 2007 World Series against the Colorado Rockies. Boston won the game 2-1 and went on to sweep the Fall Classic.