Fred Lynn

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Fred Lynn
Fred Lynn at an autograph signing in Manchester, New Hampshire.jpg
Center fielder
Born: (1952-02-03) February 3, 1952 (age 62)
Chicago, Illinois
Batted: LeftThrew: Left
MLB debut
September 5, 1974 for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 1990 for the San Diego Padres
Career statistics
Batting average.283
Home runs306
Runs batted in1,111
Teams
Career highlights and awards
 
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Fred Lynn
Fred Lynn at an autograph signing in Manchester, New Hampshire.jpg
Center fielder
Born: (1952-02-03) February 3, 1952 (age 62)
Chicago, Illinois
Batted: LeftThrew: Left
MLB debut
September 5, 1974 for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 1990 for the San Diego Padres
Career statistics
Batting average.283
Home runs306
Runs batted in1,111
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Fredric Michael "Fred" Lynn (born February 3, 1952) is a former center fielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Boston Red Sox (1974–1980), California Angels (1981–1984), Baltimore Orioles (1985–1988), Detroit Tigers (1988–1989) and San Diego Padres (1990). He is best known for being the first player to win the Rookie of the Year award and MVP in the same season.

Lynn was inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2002 and to the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Boston Red Sox[edit]

After graduation from USC, Lynn started his career for the Red Sox with a 1975 season in which he won the Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year awards, the first player to win both in the same season. (The feat has since been duplicated by Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki in 2001.) Lynn and fellow rookie outfielder Jim Rice were dubbed as the “Gold Dust Twins”. In 1975, Lynn led the American League in doubles, runs scored and slugging percentage, finished second in the batting race with a .331 average, and won a Gold Glove Award for his defensive play. On June 18 at Tiger Stadium, he hit three home runs, had 10 RBI, and 16 total bases in one game.

Lynn found it difficult to duplicate the extraordinary success of his first season, and was hampered by injuries. These sometimes were caused by fearless play, such as a broken rib from crashing into an outfield wall, or knee injuries from breaking up double plays, but most were simply of the nagging variety, such as strains and sprains. Lynn won three more Gold Gloves in 1978-80 and finished fourth in the 1979 MVP voting, while being elected to the All-Star team every year with the Red Sox.

California Angels[edit]

The Red Sox traded him along with Steve Renko to the Angels for Frank Tanana, Jim Dorsey and Joe Rudi after the 1980 season.[2] He never hit over .300 again. Lynn did go on to hit more than 20 home runs in six consecutive seasons starting in 1982, and was selected MVP of the 1982 American League Championship Series, the first player from the losing team ever selected. In 1983, he hit the only grand slam in All-Star history and was named MVP after being elected to the team for the ninth consecutive year. His four home runs in All-Star games is second only to Stan Musial.

In 1981, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included him in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time.

Baltimore Orioles[edit]

Following the 1984 season, Lynn signed with the Orioles, who signed numerous free agents in the mid-1980s in an ultimately unsuccessful effort to win another World Series after their 1983 title. Lynn never played more than 150 games in a season and only topped 140 games four times. From 1982-1988, his home run totals were 21-22-23-23-23-23-25. His four consecutive years with exactly 23 home runs tied Ken Boyer (24 each year for Cardinals from 1961–1964) for most consecutive years with exactly the same number of home runs (based on 20 or more home runs); Adam Dunn later matched this mark with 40 each year from 2005-2008.

Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres[edit]

Detroit acquired Lynn for their 1988 pennant drive, which also proved unsuccessful. There was some initial controversy with this trade; though the trade was made on the day of the trading deadline, while Lynn was en route to Detroit, he was technically not in "Detroit airspace" when the deadline passed, so he was ruled ineligible for the postseason. MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent later overruled this decision, declaring that as long as the transaction was completed by the deadline, the player need not physically be in the new team's city to be eligible to play in the playoffs. Following a disappointing 1989 season, Lynn ended his career with one season in San Diego (1990), retiring at the age of 38.

Career statistics[edit]

His 306 career home runs place him ninth among center fielders, behind Willie Mays, Ken Griffey, Jr., Mickey Mantle, Duke Snider, Dale Murphy, Joe DiMaggio, Jim Edmonds, and Andruw Jones.

In his 17-year career, Lynn batted .283 with 1111 RBI, 1960 hits, 1063 runs, 306 home runs 388 doubles, 43 triples, and 72 stolen bases in 1969 games.

After baseball[edit]

Lynn has raised over $17,500 through charity work, primarily for Child Haven and The FACE Foundation, a home for abused and neglected kids.

Lynn recorded a hit on the first pitch off Lee Smith for the All-Star Legends softball game in St. Louis (2009). Both appeared in the 1983 All-Star Game as opponents. Lynn also hit a home run in the 2010 All-Star Legends softball game in Anaheim.

Lynn worked as a baseball color analyst for ESPN from 1991–98, doing some College World Series games and some West Coast MLB games. He has also been a spokesman for Gillette and MasterCard, and occasionally entertains clients at Red Sox games from the Legends Skybox at Fenway Park.

Fred Lynn resides in Carlsbad, California.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fred Lynn Officially Inducted into College Baseball HOF CSTV.com, July 5, 2007
  2. ^ During his lengthy major league career, Lynn played for five different teams, but considers himself a member of the Red Sox family. “I’m a Red Sock. I didn’t want to leave the Red Sox,” said Lynn, who was traded to the California Angels in January 1981. “I came up with them and from 1973 to 1980 I was their property. I thought I’d end up spending my entire career in Boston. It was tough, even though I was going to a great team and playing for a great owner in Gene Autry.”
  3. ^ Los Angeles Times, August 19, 2012, page C5, "Fred Lynn's Cautionary Tale"

External links[edit]