Sunday, July 7, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #43 KENNY LOFTON


PLAYED IN 95 POSTSEASON GAMES.




FROM '92-'96, AVERAGED 65 STEALS.


DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Kenny Lofton's nomadism overshadowed impressive career numbers, which should've merited more Hall of Fame consideration. Playing for 11 clubs in 17 years, Lofton stole 622 bases (15th all-time), hit .299, 123 homers, 110 triples and scored 1,442 runs. He was a six-time All-Star and a four-time Gold Glove award-winning center fielder. He played in 11 postseasons with six teams but never won a World Series ring. He set the career postseason steals record with 34 with the Indians during the 2007 ALCS against the Red Sox, surpassing #86 Rickey Henderson.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • On Sept. 3, 2000, in a 12-11 win over the Orioles, Lofton tied the major-league record set by Red Rolfe by scoring a run in his 18th consecutive game. He stole an Indians' record five bases and, for good measure, hit the game-winning homer in the 13th inning.

DEFINING SEASON

  • In '94, Lofton was hitting .349 with 60 steals, 105 runs, 12 home runs and 57 RBI when his season was shortened to 112 games because of the players' strike. He still led the AL in steals and hits (160). He was on pace for 87 bags, 152 runs, 18 homers, 83 RBI and 227 hits. That would've been a stat line straight from Henderson's Baseball-Reference page. Lofton was smack dab in the middle of a torrid five-year stretch in which his culmulative WAR was 29.8, behind only #103 Barry Bonds (41.3) and #110 Ken Griffey Jr. (33.3).

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Received 18 votes (3.2 percent) for the Hall of Fame in January and was taken off the ballot.
  2. Had three stints in Cleveland (10 years) and holds the franchise record for steals with 452.
  3. Never played more than a single season with any other team.
  4. Part of a blockbuster trade with the Braves in March '97, when he was sent to Atlanta, along with Alan Embree, for #1 David Justice and #40 Marquis Grissom after contract extension talks broke down.
  5. Played college basketball at Arizona, which advanced to the Final Four in '88 with Lofton as a 6-foot sixth man. He is one of two players to appear in an NCAA title game and a World Series. Six-foot-7 pitcher Tim Stoddard (North Carolina State in '74, Orioles in '79 and '83) is the other. Lofton played in the '95 World Series with the Indians and the '02 Series with the Giants.

No comments:

Post a Comment