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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Deadspin: He Could Always Steal

Kenny Lofton’s remarkable baseball career started in earnest just days after the basketball team returned from Kansas City. “After the Final Four,” he says, “I was missing baseball a little bit.” The itch developed the summer before, when his teammates staged a series of coaches-versus-player softball games. Lofton patrolled center field, insisting that his right and left fielders play shallow because he could cover the outfield turf from foul pole to foul pole. “He caught pretty much every ball and he was throwing coaches out at third and home plate,” Mason says. “This guy was so serious.”

Tim Marchman Posted: January 10, 2013 at 08:02 PM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, kenny lofton

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 11, 2013 at 09:26 AM (#4344877)
Speaking of KC, when Lofton was an Astros minor leaguer I guess the Royals were on the verge of acquiring Lofton for C Brent Mayne before they balked on getting Dave Rohde as the pitcher in return, so the Astros dealt him to Cleveland for Eddie Taubensee instead. Urge to kill....rising....
   2. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: January 11, 2013 at 09:43 AM (#4344884)
was it rohde (a stat-y minor league fave of mine who never got more than a cup of coffee in the bigs) or a pitcher? not trying to be nitpicky - i'd never heard of this and am curious as to the particulars.

i remember lofton the basketball player - nice rotation guy, blinding speed, very good defense, could hit from outside and adequately run an offense. here's some stats.
   3. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: January 11, 2013 at 09:59 AM (#4344890)
eh, i'll just post them here:

years   g  min fgm fga  fg3pm 3pa 3ptftm fta  ftreb ast stl blk pts
85
-86  27  6.8 1.0 2.2 .450 --- --- ---- 0.4 1.0 .462 0.5 2.4 0.7 0.1 2.4
86
-87  30 26.2 1.9 5.0 .389 1.0 2.9 .356 1.5 2.0 .754 2.0 6.4 1.8 0.3 6.4
87
-88  38 15.2 1.8 3.4 .534 0.6 1.5 .397 0.4 0.7 .538 1.2 4.7 1.6 0.1 4.7
88
-89  33 22.9 1.9 4.9 .385 1.0 2.7 .367 0.8 1.1 .694 1.8 5.5 2.0 0.1 5.5
total 128 17.9 1.7 3.9 .433 0.7 1.8 .370 0.8 1.2 .651 1.4 4.8 1.6 0.1 4.8 


based solely on numbers, i may have underrated him in my memory as a playmaker
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 11, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4344909)
as it rohde (a stat-y minor league fave of mine who never got more than a cup of coffee in the bigs) or a pitcher?


Sorry, I should have said they balked at getting Rohde, instead wanting a pitcher in return (I forget who).
   5. bfan Posted: January 11, 2013 at 10:26 AM (#4344915)
based solely on numbers, i may have underrated him in my memory as a playmaker


But I think you over-rated him as somebody who could hit from the outside. I am assuming a guy that fast would get to the rim a lot for lay-ups, and his steals are good (which also can support break-away aly-ups), and his shooting percentage was not so good.
   6. GregD Posted: January 11, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4344936)
Shooting 37% from the 3-point line is really good.

I actually remembered Lofton as being a better player than that; I would have guessed he was close to double digits in points. He stood out for a rotation player even before he made MLB because he was a smart, interesting player to watch. I hate Arizona with a passion but he was one of my favorite of the million guards Lute collected in his career.
   7. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 11, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4345018)
From TFA:
With four seconds to play in their back-and-forth Sweet 16 contest, Lofton was knocked to the floor trying to guard freshman Anderson Hunt, who calmly nailed an open three-pointer to give the Running Rebels a 68-67 victory. The defeat clearly burns Lofton up to this day. "When I lost I got very upset," he says. "You just have to live with it, pretty much."
Actually, it was Hunt who knocked down Lofton. When I saw Lofton a few years later, then playing for Astros' AAA team, I yelled out to him, "THAT WAS A CHARGE!" He immediately dropped his head.
   8. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 11, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4345026)
I hate Arizona with a passion but he was one of my favorite of the million guards Lute collected in his career.
The talent, in breadth and depth, Lute brought to Tucson was amazing. My favorite was Damon Stoudamire; even as a freshman, he was a fearless gunner.
   9. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 11, 2013 at 02:10 PM (#4345124)
I actually remembered Lofton as being a better player than that; I would have guessed he was close to double digits in points.

Per 48 minutes, he averaged about 12 points, 12 assists, 4 steals, and 3 rebounds in 88-89. That's pretty good.

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