Born: May 31, 1967
Perhaps no player in team history is more regretted by Astro fans as "the one that got away" as much as Lofton. The Arizona State product was also a basketball star with the Sun Devils and had a great future as a fleet center fielder. In a September call-up in 1991, the 17th-round draft choice hit .203 in 20 games.
But the Astros already had a good young center fielder in Steve Finley and were in need of a catcher. So they dealt Lofton to the Cleveland Indians for catcher Eddie Taubensee and pitcher Willie Blair.
Lofton exploded with Indians into a six-time All-Star who led the American League in stolen bases five years and won four Gold Gloves. Over his 17-year career, he hit .299 with 130 homers and 622 steals. After the Indians, Lofton played for the Braves, White Sox, Giants, Pirates, Cubs, Yankees, Phillies, Dodgers and Rangers as he stretched out his career as a leadoff hitter for hire.
Finley was traded after the 1994 season and Astro fans can only imagine what Lofton might have done in the spacious Astrodome all those years had he not been traded away.