The Los Angeles Dodgers signed a veteran outfielder to hit second in the lineup and play center field on this date back in 2005. Kenny Lofton was signed to a one-year deal worth $3.5 million, making the Dodgers his 10th team in his career.
Lofton was coming off a season in which he hit .335 in 110 games for the Philadelphia Phillies. The then 38-year-old was signed to hit behind leadoff hitter and newly signed shortstop Rafael Furcal. Lofton cited his time under Ned Colletti in San Francisco as one of the reasons for choosing the Dodgers.
That season, Lofton would go on to hit .301 with 141 hits and 32 stolen bases in 129 games and helped the Dodgers reach the postseason. For the veteran, it was his 10th time reaching the postseason in his career. His 79 runs were fourth-most on the team and his average was third-best. Lofton struggled in the postseason, recording just one hit in 13 at-bats as the Dodgers were eliminated by the New York Mets in the NLDS.
The left-handed hitting Lofton left for the Texas Rangers after the 2006 season and spent 2007 split between the Rangers and the Cleveland Indians. He retired after that season to end a 17-year career in which he played for 11 teams. Lofton finished with a career .299 average, 2,428 hits and 622 stolen bases.His stolen base total is good for 15th in major league history.
The now 46-year-old was a six-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner and a five-time stolen base champion. He made the postseason 11 times but never won a World Series, losing in the Fall Classic two times. He became eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2013 and failed to reach the number of votes to remain eligible.
After retirement, Lofton was hired as a spring training coach by the Indians in 2011 and then spent some time working with the Dodgers as a post-game analyst for Fox Sports West.