Top Tribe All-Star Performances: #9 - Kenny Lofton, 1996

 

Box Score

Kenny Lofton started his second straight All-Star Game in 1996. Lofton finished his first half with a .314/.375/.430 line, which was a 110 OPS+, but also stole an incredible 42 bases. 2006 would be his high water mark for stolen bases with 75, an it would be his fifth straight year leading the AL in stolen bases. Kenny was in his prime as an all-around player, and that showed through in his All-Star Game at-bats.

Besides Lofton, two other Indians were in the starting lineup: Albert Belle, and Charles Nagy. In addition, Jose Mesa and Sandy Alomar were reserves, and Mike Hargrove was the manager. Lofton was leading off, and he starting the contest with a single up the middle against NL starter John Smoltz, and subsequently steal second. But Wade Boggs popped up, and Lofton couldn't get to third with one out. He did get to third on Roberto Alomar's fly out, but Albert Belle struck out to end the inning.

Lofton's next at-bat was against Kevin Brown, who would finish in second in Cy Young voting to John Smoltz. Kenny actually got the ball in the air, but flew out to center field. In his third at-bat he faced Pedro Martinez, and singled to right field. After Boggs flew out, Lofton stole second again, and went to third on Roberto Alomar's infield hit. But again he was stranded there, as Belle struck out and Mo Vaughn grounded out.

Lofton would play in the field in the fifth and sixth, and would be pulled in the top of the seventh for Joe Carter. The NL would win in a shutout 6-0;  Lofton was the only AL player with multiple hits.

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