Former Arizona Wildcats basketball player Kenny Lofton walked to the mound, took a selfie, stuffed his phone into a back pocket and threw out a damn fine first pitch before Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday.
His old team, the Cleveland Indians, beat the Chicago Cubs, 6-0.
Lofton played 10 seasons in three stints with Cleveland during a 17-year career in which he hit .299, stole 622 bases, was a six-time All-Star and won four Gold Gloves for his work in center field.
Wildcats fans knew him as an athletic guard for coach Lute Olson in the late 1980s, the backup to point guard Steve Kerr on the 1988 Final Four team and the starter in 1989, when the No. 1 Cats lost to UNLV in the Sweet 16 when Lofton’s flop left Anderson Hunt open for a 3-point dagger.
You also might recall Lofton shot about 40 percent from 3-point range in his final two seasons and was a defensive pest as the baseline runner when Olson went to a 1-3-1 zone.
With his athletic ability, he converted steals in basketball to steals in baseball and ended up earning more than $60 million in the major leagues. In a sense, you can add that to the salaries Olson’s players have earned in the NBA — nearly $1.1 billion and growing.
Here is video of Lofton throwing out the first pitch, an interview with him before the game and some good ol’ Arizona basketball highlights: