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Fred Lynn

Fred Lynn

Sonsofsamhorn

Position(s):
CF, DH, LF, OF, RF
Born:
February 3, 1952
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Left
Height:
6' 1"
Weight:
185 lbs
Major League Debut:
9-05-1974 with BOS
Allstar Selections:
1975 GG, 1975 MVP, 1975 ROOK, 1978 GG, 1979 GG, 1980 GG, 1982 ALCS, 1983 AsMVP

Intro

Fred Lynn had the greatest coming out party in baseball history in 1975, when as a rookie, he played a stellar center field for the Red Sox and earned the American League Most Valuable Player Award. All season, opposing pitchers searched in vain for a way to get the left-handed hitter out, and all season they were left scratching their heads. Lynn hit .331 in his freshman campaign, and followed it with a .314 mark in 1976, but injuries kept him out of the lineup all too frequently for the remainder of his career. He was healthy in 1978 and 1979, and in the latter year, he had his best overall campaign, belting 39 homers to go with 122 RBI, 116 runs scored, 42 doubles, 82 walks, and a .333 average. But after he was traded by Boston to the Angels, he was never quite the same player. He did recapture his magic twice after leaving Red Sox Nation, however. In 1983 he hit the first grand slam in All-Star Game history, and in the 1982 League Championship Series, he punished Brewers' pitchers for a .611 batting average and 11 hits in the Angels' five-game defeat. Seemingly destined to become one of the game's greats, Lynn never met those lofty (and unfair) expectations, but he still produced 306 homers and more than 1,100 RBI in his injury-riddled career.

Unform Number

#19 (1974-1980, 1982-1988), #8 (1981, 1990), #9 (1988-1989 Tigers)

Quotes About

"[Fred] Lynn is the most complete player in our league. But when you think of the most dangerous hitter, you think of a [Jim] Rice or [Don] Baylor, a guy who scares you every time he comes to the plate." — Toronto manager Roy Hartsfield, 1979

Replaced By

After dealing Lynn to the Angels prior to the 1981 season, the Sox turned to...Rick Miller to fill that hole in center field. Within a couple of years, Tony Armas was out there. Lynn's last regular, fulltime job was with the Orioles, where he played center field. After the O's dealt him to the Tigers late in 1988, they gave young Brady Anderson a shot.

Best Season

Lynn hit a career-high 39 homers to go with 122 RBI, 116 runs scored, 42 doubles, 82 walks, a .333 average, .423 on-base percentage, and a .637 slugging percentage. The last three marks all led the American League, but Fred finished a disapointing fourth in MVP voting, behind Don Baylor and Ken Singleton, who played for first place teams, and George Brett.

Factoid 1

After he collected 11 hits in five games and batted .611 in the 1982 Playoffs, Fred Lynn became the first player on a losing team to be named Most Valuable Player in a League Championship Series.

Factoid 2

On May 13, 1976, after missing the first six weeks of the season with an ankle injury suffered in spring training, Fred Lynn hit the first pitch he saw from Seattle' Dick Pole for a home run. In his next at-bat, Lynn homered again.

Transition

June 4, 1970: Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 3rd round of the 1970 amateur draft, but did not sign; June 5, 1973: Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 2nd round of the 1973 amateur draft; January 23, 1981: Traded by the Boston Red Sox with Steve Renko to the California Angels for Frank Tanana, Jim Dorsey, and Joe Rudi; November 8, 1984: Granted Free Agency; December 11, 1984: Signed as a Free Agent with the Baltimore Orioles; August 31, 1988: Traded by the Baltimore Orioles to the Detroit Tigers for players to be named later and Chris Hoiles. The Detroit Tigers sent Cesar Mejia (minors) (September 9, 1988) and Robinson Garces (minors) (September 9, 1988) to the Baltimore Orioles to complete the trade; November 13, 1989: Granted Free Agency; December 6, 1989: Signed as a Free Agent with the San Diego Padres; November 5, 1990: Granted Free Agency.

Strengths

He could hit right-handed pitchers (.298 with a .510 SLG average), and he hit amazingly well in Fenway (.347 with a .601 SLG mark and .420 OBP in 440 games)... Lynn was a fine defensive center fielder. In a 1979 poll of American League managers, Lynn was selected as the best outfielder in the league.

Weaknesses

Knowing when to ramp it back a little bit and stay healthy.

Milestones

Lynn hit his 300th home run against Bret Saberhagen of the Royals, on September 4, 1989, at Detroit's Tiger Stadium... In dramatic fashion, Lynn belted his 200th home run on May 10, 1985, at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. With the Orioles and Twins tied 5-5 in the bottom of the ninth, Lynn made the O's winners when he slugged a walk-off homer off Minnesota reliever Ron Davis... On August 5, 1979, in the first game of a doubleheader against the Brewers in Milwaukee, Lynn hit his 100th career home run, off Lary Sorensen. Lynn also hit a homer in the second game of the twinbill.

Description

Throughout the course of his career, especially early on, Lynn was one of the most exciting players to watch on the diamond. When he was roaming center field for the Red Sox, Lynn galloped with his long strides and leaped to make amazing catches. He crashed into walls, collided with teammates, and made fantastic throws

This day in baseball history

June 03

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Tagged:
1975 ALCS, 1975 World Series, 1982 ALCS, AL MVP 1975, All Star, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, California Angels, Detroit Tigers, Fred Lynn, Gold Glove, Rookie of the Year Award

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