All-Time Indians: Kenny Lofton

Name: Kenneth Lofton   Position: Center Field              
          Number: 7                
Tribe Time: 1992-1996, 1998-2001, 2007 DOB: 05/31/1967              
Accolades: 4 Gold Gloves (1993-1996), 5 Time All Star (1994-96,1998-99), Top 5 MVP (1994), Top 15 MVP (1993,1996)
Stats G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS SB% OBP SLG AVG OPS ISOP
Best Season (1996) 154 662 132 210 35 4 14 67 295 61 82 75 17 82% .372 .446 .317 .818 .128
Career 1276 5045 975 1512 244 66 87 518 2149 611 652 452 104 81% .375 .426 .300 .801 .126
Post Season Career 50 201 34 50 6 2 5 22 75 25 38 23 2 92% - .373 .249 - .124

Kenny Lofton has played for a lot of teams, eleven total, including three different stints on the Indians, but everyone knows that he is first and foremost a Cleveland Indian. Most impressively, Kenny has played in the post season in eleven years with six different teams. Starting in 1995, the only years he missed playing in the postseason were in 2000 and 2005, yet he only made two World Series appearances (1995 and 2002) during his career and never earned a ring. During his time with the Indians in the postseason he was especially impressive. He leads all Indians all time with 34 runs scored and 23 steals in the postseason. He is in the top five in every other counting stat except doubles. The steals are the most impressive since Omar Vizquel is the only other Indian to have more than three all time.

In 1991 the Indians acquired Lofton in a trade with the Astros for Willie Blair and Eddie Taubensee, this trade was a steal and was very important in setting up the powerful core of the 1990's Indians offense. Lofton combined with the emergance of Albert Belle, the drafting of Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez and trades for Carlos Baerga, Sandy Alomar and Omar Vizquel to make the most potent offense in Indians history. In 1996, when Lofton thought he was immovable, he was traded to the Braves for Marquis Grissom and David Justice in another great move that helped the Indians get back to the World Series in 1997. Justice stuck around a few years and produced far beyond what was necessary and Lofton resigned with the Tribe in 1998 as a free agent, so nothing was lost. In fact, Justice was traded to the Yankees at the end of his career for a young pitcher named Jake Westbrook, so Lofton trades were basically responsible for ten years of Lofton, four years of Justice and nine years of Westbrook.

In 2007 with the Indians looking at winning the Central Division for the first time since 2001, the Indians decided to bring the old favorite back and traded Maxamiliano Ramirez (a minor league catcher) to Texas for him. With center field and lead off filled by Grady Sizemore, Kenny Lofton got to know a new area of Jacob's Field as he played left field and batted seventh.

Playing for the Indians for a decade, Lofton has certainly left his marks on the record books. He is in the top ten in career at bats and hits and the top five in runs scored. In Cleveland they might as well rename the steal a "Kenny" since he has almost 200 more than the next best speedster. He is also second all time in stolen base percentage behind only Roberto Alomar, who only spent three years with the team. Along with the career records, Lofton holds the single season record as well along with four of the top five best seasons and six of the top ten. Going along with his speedy reputation, Lofton was also an amazing fielder, winning a Gold Glove in each of his first four full seasons with the Tribe. He also once won defensive play of the year for a home run stealing catch.

Kenny Lofton has already been enshrined in the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame and should be considered one of the greatest centerfielders in Indians history.

Kenny Lofton

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since it's inception in 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona.

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