Lofton didn't reach 3000 hits; he had 2428 career hits). But, he walked quite a bit (career .372 OBP) and stole a ton of bases (622 career). One interesting thing to note about Lofton is that after 1999, he was never again an All-Star. Yet, Lofton would continue to play at an All-Star level, despite suffering various injuries and not hitting above .300 for the most part anymore. So, while Lofton's OBP and isolated power levels (slugging percentage minus batting average) remained rather constant, his speed steadily diminished and his value became less and less clear to many teams.
Lofton only put up two 3+ WAR seasons after 1999 (2000 and 2005), but he was still worth almost 2 WAR in those seasons despite not playing full seasons. He wasn't quite the center fielder in the second half of his career, but he was still useful. He wasn't a complete defensive negative until 2006 and 2007. Even then, his bat was still valuable and he could still steal 20-30 bases.
Kenny Lofton is one of the best examples of a player that had a crazy early peak and simply hung around for another 5-7 years but still added considerable value to his ball-clubs. He really bounced around after leaving Cleveland after the 2001 season - although he'd return at the end of the 2007 season to help the Indians in their playoff run. He played for the Giants, White Sox, Pirates, Cubs, Yankees, Phillies, Dodgers, and Rangers before rejoining the Indians at the end. On all of those teams, he was well above replacement level. Lofton was still a starter-caliber player until at least 2005, yet he wasn't considered as one. If he'd been given more playing time, it's likely he WOULD be going into the Hall of Fame without a doubt.
Kenny Lofton was one of the best and most consistent ballplayers that I ever watched growing up. If it were up to me, he'd be in the Hall, as he's somehow become one of the most underrated players of his generation.
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