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Fred Lynn in 2007
February 3, 1952 |
|September 5, 1974, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 3, 1990, for the San Diego Padres|
|Runs batted in||1,111|
|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.
Boston Red Sox
Lynn represented the United States at the 1971 Pan American Games, where he won a silver medal. 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 was duplicated by then-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's career was hampered by some injuries caused by fearless play, such as a broken rib from crashing into an outfield wall, or knee injuries from breaking up double plays,and playing all out defensively. Lynn won three more Gold Gloves in 1978–80 and finished fourth in the 1979 MVP voting; he won the AL Batting title in that same year. He was elected to the All-Star team every year with the Red Sox, and was a nine-time All-Star overall in his career. He hit a home run in three All-Star games for the Red Sox, in 1976, 1979, and 1980 and hit the only grand slam in All-Star history in 1983.
The Red Sox traded him along with Steve Renko to the Angels for Frank Tanana, Jim Dorsey and Joe Rudi after the 1980 season. 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.
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 to 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 to 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 to 2008.
Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres
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.
Lynn has raised thousands of dollars through charity work, for Child Haven (a home for abused and neglected children) and the animal charity, FACE Foundation.
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 and had many hits in subsequent Legends Softball games.
Lynn worked as a baseball color analyst for ESPN from 1991 to 1998, 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 was elected into the USC Hall of Fame in 1994, The Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame in 2011 and became of member of the All-Fenway Team in 2012.
Fred Lynn resides in Carlsbad, California with his wife, Natalie. Fred has two children from his first marriage. Jason Lynn who resides in Tustin, California with wife Bethany and son Carter. Jenny Lynn who resides in Fort Smith, Arkansas with sons Tyler and Hayden. His younger brother is California attorney Jonathan Lynn.
- List of Major League Baseball career home run leaders
- List of Major League Baseball career runs scored leaders
- List of Major League Baseball career runs batted in leaders
- List of Major League Baseball players who hit for the cycle
- List of Major League Baseball batting champions
- List of Major League Baseball annual runs scored leaders
- List of Major League Baseball annual doubles leaders
- Fred Lynn Officially Inducted into College Baseball HOF CSTV.com, July 5, 2007
- "1971 Pan American Games (Rosters)". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
- 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."
- Los Angeles Times, August 19, 2012, page C5, "Fred Lynn's Cautionary Tale"
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