Monday, December 1, 2014

#331 Kenny Lofton

About the Front: Kenny Lofton is showing shades of Willie Mays, who supposedly wore an oversized cap on the field. The idea was that if his cap flew off of his head while he was tearing around the bases or the outfield, he would appear to be even faster than he actually was.

About the Back: Vince Coleman is the major league record holder for steals by a rookie, with 110 in 1985.

Triple Play:

1. Lofton attended the University of Arizona on a basketball scholarship, and was a backup point guard to Craig McMillan and Steve Kerr on the Wildcats' 1988 Final Four team. He left college as UA's all-time steals leader in basketball.

2. He led the American League in stolen bases in each of his first five seasons, including a career-high 75 in 92 tries in 1996. In a 17-year career, he totaled 622 swipes, 15th-most in history.

3. Despite his bona fides as a base stealer, an excellent center fielder, and a hitter (.299/.372/.423), Kenny received only 3.2% of the vote when he debuted on the crowded Hall of Fame ballot in 2013 and was rendered ineligible for future election. He now has a TV production company, FilmPool Inc., and has done postgame commentary for Dodgers' TV broadcasts.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: It seems like Kenny Lofton robbed the Orioles of at least one home run each time he faced them.

Bill James Said: "Also took 81% of the available extra bases on hits (such as going first to third on a single), the best of any major league player."

On This Date in 1993: December 1. A train accident occurs at Tattenham Corner railway station in Surrey, England. The driver is three times over the legal limit for alcohol consumption and crashes through a wooden station building, but luckily there are no fatalities. He will spend nine months in prison.

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