ESPN Analyst Xavier Scruggs Names Player He Wants In Hall Of Fame

Kenny Lofton
Shutterstock | 62557

Tristin McKinstry

If there was ever a place that encapsulated the history of the game of baseball, it undoubtedly would be the baseball Hall of Fame.

The legends of the game, and the legendary moments of the game, are commemorated in one place and honored as they should be. On July 24, new legends were enshrined in Cooperstown among the sport's greats.

However, some of those inducted to the Hall weren't voted in the traditional way. They were inducted by the Era Committees, which consider players who may have been overlooked during their initial eligibility.

During a discussion on MLB Network, ESPN analyst Xavier Scruggs named one former Texas Rangers outfielder as someone he felt was deserving of enshrinement among the legends of baseball.

'That's My Guy'

Kenny Lofton
Wikimedia | Delaywaves

Scruggs named 17-year veteran Kenny Lofton as his pick to be inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Era Committees. Lofton made the postseason in 11 of his 17 seasons and played with eleven teams during that span.

"That's my guy, and I want to see him in the Hall of Fame," Scruggs said of the six-time All-Star. "Today's committee has an opportunity I think in 2023. This is a guy, when you're talking about the best center fielders of our game, ranks ninth in WAR (wins above replacement)."

Scruggs argued that his career WAR alone was an argument for Lofton's Hall of Fame case. However, the former MLB first baseman went further.

The Definition Of Overlooked

Kenny Lofton
Wikimedia | Denniscabrams

"Besides the 622 stolen bases, besides what he did on defense, look at some of the numbers. Six-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove, this is a guy who plays 17 MLB seasons," Scruggs continued.

He then brought up the fact that Lofton had just one year on the Hall of Fame ballot, coming in 2013. Lofton received 3.8% of the vote, falling short of the 5% required to stay on the ballot.

The six-time All-Star had to share the ballot with guys such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemons, and Sammy Sosa to name a few. If the Era Committees are to consider overlooked players, look no further than Lofton.

Paying Respect

Shutterstock | 57428

Prior to the discussion about Lofton, MLB Network host Brian Kinney ran down the names inducted by the Era Committees in 2022. Scruggs, a former MLB player in his own right, took some time to show respect for those before him.

"All those guys made sacrifices that allowed me to play the game," Scruggs said. "I'm very appreciative of what those guys have done."

Scruggs mentioned one thing he was very grateful for when it came to the Hall of Fame induction: hearing the stories of those enshrined.

"You get to hear their stories. We have to be reminded of those past stories in order for us to keep making moves toward our future in this game of baseball," Scruggs said.

'I'm A Realist'

Kenny Lofton
Shutterstock | 62557

Back in 2019, Lofton opened up about his snubbing from the Hall of Fame. He spoke to the New York Post about it, where he showed some frustration with his exclusion from Cooperstown.

“I was expecting to do better. But I’m a realist. I look back at the situation, and at that time, I think what happened for me was I came out on the ballot in the wrong year. There was so many people on the ballot, and so many people who had a potential situation with the performance-enhancing drugs. I felt a lot of voters wanted to keep those guys on the ballot, and that was votes taken away from me," Lofton said.