Fred Lynn

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Fredric Michael Lynn

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Biographical Information[edit]

"Lynn is the most complete player in our league." - Roy Hartsfield

"I really didn't have any holes in my game other than the fact that I couldn't stay on the field for the second half of my career." - Fred Lynn, musing on his career

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Fred Lynn made a spectacular big league debut, becoming the first player ever to win baseball's MVP and Rookie of the Year awards in the same year, earning the honors in the American League with the Boston Red Sox in 1975. Only Ichiro Suzuki, a seven-time batting champion and three-time MVP in Japan before arriving in Seattle as a 27-year-old veteran, has duplicated Lynn's feat in either league. Lynn set an AL rookie record with 47 doubles, a league-leading total; this was matched by Miguel Andujar in 2018, but never topped. It was also Lynn's career best mark.

Lynn played 17 seasons in the majors, hitting 306 home runs and collecting 1,111 RBI. A two-time college All-American, he hit .331/.401/.566 with 21 home runs, 47 doubles, and 105 RBI as a rookie, when the Red Sox made it all the way to Game 7 of the World Series before losing to the Cincinnati Reds. His 1979 campaign may have been even better, as he posted a batting line of .333/.423/.637 with 39 home runs and 122 RBI. From 1984 to 1987, he hit 23 home runs each year, four times in a row. An excellent fielder, he won four Gold Glove awards. For the vast majority of his career, his range was well above average. Playing for the California Angels, he hit .611 (11 for 18) in the 1982 ALCS, which the Milwaukee Brewers nevertheless won. He won the ALCS Most Valuable Player Award despite being on the losing team.

Lynn is the only player to hit a grand slam in the All-Star Game. He accomplished the feat in 1983 off Atlee Hammaker. He was a nine-time All-Star.

The similarity scores method shows the most similar player to Lynn to be Reggie Smith, another center fielder for the Boston Red Sox.

Lynn, while on a team of high school stars that played against the University of Southern California team, faced Dave Kingman, who was a fast-throwing pitcher at the time. He is in both the USC Hall of Fame and the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame and was a two-time All-American at USC.

Lynn played for Team USA in the 1971 Pan American Games. He led the Games with 4 home runs as the US won Silver. When the US played Gold Medal winner Cuba, Lynn homered in a 4-3 loss.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 1975 AL Rookie of the Year Award
  • 1975 Topps All-Star Rookie Team
  • 9-time AL All-Star (1975-1983)
  • AL MVP (1975)
  • 1982 ALCS MVP
  • 1983 All-Star Game MVP
  • 4-time AL Gold Glove Winner (1975 & 1978-1980)
  • AL Batting Average Leader (1979)
  • AL On-Base Percentage Leader (1979)
  • 2-time AL Slugging Percentage Leader (1975 & 1979)
  • 2-time AL OPS Leader (1975 & 1979)
  • AL Runs Scored Leader (1975)
  • AL Doubles Leader (1975)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 10 (1975, 1978, 1979 & 1982-1988)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1979)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 2 (1975 & 1979)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 2 (1975 & 1979)

1974 1975 1976
Jeff Burroughs Fred Lynn Thurman Munson
AL Rookie of the Year
1974 1975 1976
Mike Hargrove Fred Lynn Mark Fidrych

Further Reading[edit]

  • Tom Nahigian: "Fred Lynn", in Bill Nowlin and Cecilia Tan, ed.: '75:The Red Sox Team that Saved Baseball, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2015, pp. 40-46. ISBN 978-1-933599-97-7

Related Sites[edit]