Frederic Michael ("Fred") Lynn was born in Chicago on February 3, 1952, Happy Birthday (one day late).
After a successful college career at the University of Southern California (USC), Lynn was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 1973 and immediately had an impact. Impact is a mild term used to describe Lynn's rookie year, 1975, as he became the first player ever to win both the Rookie of the Year and League MVP. His 1976 card showcases his powerful swing and that gold trophy making him a Topps All Star Rookie.
His aggressiveness on the base paths (breaking up double play, stretching singles to doubles), courageous play in the outfield (crashing into the wall, diving for balls) made Lynn rather injury riddled but in 1979 actually had his "career" year looking at the statistics. In 1979, Lynn had 39 HR's, 122 RBI's, scored 116 runs, 177 hits and hit .333 - all career highs for him, yet coming in 4th in the MVP ballot that year.
Lynn was elected to nine all-star teams, earned four gold gloves and in his career had 306 HR's with a career BA of .283. A little statistical "fun"; Lynn played in exactly 1969 games (my favorite baseball year) and had 1960 hits (the year of my birth).
So Happy Birthday Mr. Lynn, you deserve to celebrate.
Heritage 2017 and Topps 1968 Side By Side
5 hours ago