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MLB News: Lofton, Alomar Jr, Mesa and Franco make 2013 HOF ballot

In what is another sign of the Indians’ heyday of the mid-90s being a distant memory, several members of the teams to make it to the 1995 and 1997 World Series have been named to the latest release of the MLB Hall of Fame ballot.

As notated by The Plain Dealer’s Paul Hoynes, long-time Indians Kenny Lofton, Sandy Alomar Jr., Julio Franco and Jose Mesa could potentially be enshrined in Cooperstown, joining Roberto Alomar and Eddie Murray as players from the same era. All first-timers, these four Tribe greats are joined by Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Craig Biggio and Sammy Sosa among the ballot freshmen.

The left-handed Lofton finished his illustrious career having made six All-Star teams, earning the Gold Glove award four times and leading the league in stolen bases on five separate ocassions. Lofton wrapped up a 16-year career tallying 622 stolen bases and was, per Baseball-Reference, worth 65 wins.

Alomar, presently the bench coach for the Cleveland Indians, spent 11 years as a player with the Tribe, representing the team six times as an All-Star. He was Rookie of the Year in 1990 and garnered MVP consideration in 1997. In his 20 seasons at the big league level, Alomar recorded an OPS of .716 and was worth 11.5 wins.

The ageless Franco was arguably one of the best pure hitters to wear an Indians uniform, averaging .298 over the course of his 23-year career. Appearing in three All-Star games and winning the Silver Slugger award each of those three seasons, Franco obtained MVP consideration in 1988, 1991 (where he hit .341)  and 1994. Recording 2,589 hits despite several stints overseas, Franco was worth 39.7 wins.

Mesa, who may be the least popular member of this bunch, was in the league for 19 years, seven of which were with the Cleveland Indians. Saving 46 games in 1995, Mesa was second in Cy Young voting and fourth in MVP voting. He recorded 321 games over the course of his career.

The Hall of Fame Class of 2013 will be announced on Jan. 9, 2013

[Related: Face Transplants, Rebuilds, and the Case for Trading Asdrubal Cabrera]

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  • MrCleaveland

    Being as objective as I can be, I think Lofton is the only one of the four who might deserve it. But even then, he’s just in the conversation, not a lock.

  • ThatAlex

    Among those 4 players, I think Lofton has garnered enough good-will around the league to have the best chance of making it.

  • BisonDeleSightings

    Julio Franco is a first-ballot inductee into the Batting Stance Hall of Fame.

  • Kildawg

    Of all those names mentioned, I think Biggio has the best shot at being inducted as a first-timer, as the other non-Indians (at one point or another) are all connected to steroids. More of our Tribe faithful would be inducted, but I don’t think it will happen this year.

  • mgbode

    and first ballot `stache as well. it is still Movember afterall.

  • zonk

    Lofton scoring from 2nd base against Seattle is still my fondest Indians memory from that era.

  • Jason

    I was 12 and I still remember that game like it was yesterday. My favorite Indians moment.

  • architrance

    Wow, reading this just makes me appreciate Little O all the more. I believe he’s finally retired, but as of last year he was the only active MLB ball player with playing time in the 1980′s and the last position player born in the 1960′s. He’s the only shortstop to ever play in four different decades.

    11 Gold Gloves, Highest Career Fielding % for a SS (over 24 seasons), 2,877 hits (40th), Most Sacrifice Hits in the Live Ball Era (since 1920), 14th Most Games Played.

    He’s got to be a First Ballot shoe-in, right?

  • BuckeyeDawg

    not sure about 1st ballot, but I have to believe he’ll get in eventually.

  • jewpants47

    agreed

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DPCJOREDAL2HWSKQBCRAW5QV3E Lisa Gentile

    Loften, Alomar, and probably Biggio. They were all great players untarnished by PAD scandals. Vote em all in!

  • Steve

    Fielding % and Sacrifice Hits (and games played, really) haven’t put anyone in the Hall.