Steven LJ Russo
Falcon Park I
Auburn New York
Former Home of the
Auburn Astros, Sunsets, Red Stars, Americans, Phillies, Twins, Mets, Yankees, Cayugas, Falcons, Bouleys, Colts
NY-Penn League (Short Season Single-A)
The other kid was not so much a power hitter as a speedster and didnít show much of what future talent held for him when he came to Auburn. Though he would steal 26 bases, he hit only .214 but by the time he got to the Major Leagues, he was awesome. A six time MLB All-Star, Kenny Lofton would go on to lead the American League in Stolen Bases for the Cleveland Indians, with his best season coming in 1994 when at 27, Lofton hit .349 with a .412 OBP, 32 2Bs, 9 3Bs, 12 HRs and 60 Stolen Bases despite missing 50 games due to injury. Joining Gonzalez and Lofton on the Auburn Astros was future Houston Astro Andy Mota who hit .351 with 15 2Bs. Wally Trice (8-4, 1.90), Gordie Farmer (8-4, 3.60) and Rick Dunnum (7-0, 3.66) were terrific in the rotation as well. 1989 saw the Auburn Astros put up a not so good record of 35-42 (.455) despite the fact that the future stars kept rolling in. Kenny Lofton returned for another 26 stolen bases along with a much better .264 batting averageÖ but this time, in only 110 at bats. How Kenny Lofton stole 26 bases when he had only 29 hits is kind of hard to imagine. Needless to say he was promoted to Asheville where he stole another 14 bases in only 82 At Bats. Thatís 52 hits on the year and 40 stolen bases! Howard Prager (15 2B, 8 Hr, 58 RBI, .335) was the top hitter on the 1989 team. The pitching meanwhile, was pretty amazing for a 6th place team. The star was future Padres starter Donnie Wall who was unbeaten going 7-0 with a 1.79 ERA.