“Lofton Steals Home, Tribe Win ALCS”
On this date 24 years ago, the Indians would end a 41-year drought. The 1995 Cleveland Indians to this day maybe remembered as one of if not the greatest teams in Cleveland Indians history. They posted a record of 100-44 (strike-shortened season). The team had a flair for the dramatic and on that faithful night in October, the Indians would culminate an AL Pennant. How they got there: The Indians dominated the division, winning by a record margin. Cleveland would sweep the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS and then came the Seattle Mariners.
The Mariners just got done winning arguably one of the greatest games in postseason history, by defeating the Yankees in extra innings. The Tribe and the Mariners would split the first four games of the series. The Indians would win a critical Game 5 at home, 3-2, to send the series back to Seattle for Game 6 and a shot at a World Series. The Mariners sent the “Big Unit” Randy Johnson to the mound. Johnson and tribe veteran Dennis Martinez dueled for the first eight innings of the game and with the Tribe leading just 1-0, Kenny Lofton would be forever immortalized in Cleveland for what would transpire next.
Lofton started the 8th inning by beating out a bunt to move the runner over. Then, Lofton would do the unthinkable!
Johnson would throw a wild pitch, which would score a runner from 3rd and Kenny Lofton would steal home from second base giving the Indians a commanding 3-0 lead. Carlos Baerga would homer in the next at-bat to put the game away. The Tribe punched their ticket to the World Series for the first time since 1954!