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Morning Briefing: Kenny Lofton wants a spot in the Hall of Fame

Dodgers Kenny Lofton
Kenny Lofton with the Dodgers in 2006.
(Alexander Gallardo / Los Angeles Times)

Kenny Lofton, who spent a season with the Dodgers but spent most of his 17-season career with the Cleveland Indians, says that if Tim Raines is in the Hall of Fame, then he belongs too.

“The guy I look at is Tim Raines,” Lofton told TMZ Sports on Sunday. “He got in, and my numbers are just comparable to his, but look at my WAR and how that turns out.”

Lofton also pointed out that what he was, a traditional leadoff hitter who stole bases, isn’t found in today’s game.

“My position is very rare and it’s about to be obsolete -- because of the home runs. So hopefully they can look at that and move forward.”

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Here’s how the two stack up in the major categories:

Lofton hit .299/.372/.423 in his career with 2,428 hits, 1,528 runs, 622 stolen bases and a 68.3 WAR. He fell off the Hall of Fame ballot after one year when he received only 3.2% of the vote. Raines hit .294/.385/.425 with 2,605 hits, 1,571 runs, 808 steals and a 69.4 WAR. Raines was elected in his 10th year on the ballot.

Sports poll

Six new members of the Baseball Hall of Fame were inducted over the weekend. Which of the following Dodgers do you think deserve a spot in the Hall of Fame? You can vote for as many as you like: Steve Garvey, Orel Hershiser, Gil Hodges, Maury Wills, Don Newcombe, Fernando Valenzuela. Vote in our poll at https://poll.fm/10368688 or email me your choices at houston.mitchell@latimes.com. Results will be revealed July 29.

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Results from last week’s poll: Will the Dodgers win the World Series this year?

After 8,940 votes:

Yes, 56.2%

No, 43.8%

Your favorite sports moment

What is your favorite all-time L.A. sports moment? Click here to tell me what it is and why, and it could appear in a future Morning Briefing. And yes, if your favorite moment is about the Angels or Ducks or a team just outside of L.A., I’ll count that too.

Today’s moment comes from Jim Bendat of Los Angeles:

“My favorite L.A. moment took place on March 22, 1968 when our city hosted the NCAA Final Four for the first time. I had been following the tournament since 1956 when I was seven years old, and when it was announced that the event would be coming here, I urged my father to try to get tickets. We entered the lottery, and we scored two tickets. It hardly mattered that we were upstairs in the very last row. We were going, and I was excited!

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“The feature game of the semifinals that night was UCLA vs. Houston. The Cougars, led by Elvin Hayes, had ended the Bruins’ 47-game winning streak just two months earlier. The buildup to that rematch was huge. Tickets were scarce, and the game was blacked out in Los Angeles. I felt so lucky to have a ticket, and I was particularly fortunate that the Final Four was during my college spring break.

“UCLA’s performance that night was one for the ages. Lew Alcindor and the Bruins slaughtered previously undefeated Houston, 101-69, and could have won by even more if Coach John Wooden hadn’t cleared the bench. The crowd at the L.A. Sports Arena that night was as loud as any I’ve ever experienced. I came home exhilarated and exhausted, but I had to pick myself right back up for the championship game the very next night against North Carolina - another easy win for that great UCLA team, in what was the last year the national semifinals and title game were played on consecutive nights.

“A great memory, and I’m glad I got to share it with my dad.”


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