Frederic Michael "Fred" Lynn (born February 3, 1952 in Chicago, Illinois) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder who played for the Boston Red Sox (1974-80), California Angels (1981-84), Baltimore Orioles (1985-88), Detroit Tigers (1988-89) and San Diego Padres (1990).
Lynn started his career for the Red Sox with a phenomenal 1975 season in which he won the Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year awards. Lynn was promoted in the Red Sox organization to being a full time center-fielder in 1975. He and fellow rookie outfielder Jim Rice were dubbed as the “Gold Dust Twins” because of their combined baseball talents. Also in 1975 he led the American League in doubles, runs scored and slugging percentage; finished second in the batting race with a .331 BA, and won a Gold Glove Award for his defensive play in center field. His MVP-Rookie of the Year double was the first in MLB history, and has only been duplicated by Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki in 2001.
But Lynn rarely duplicated his early success. He was hampered by injuries sometimes caused by reckless play--such as a broken rib caused by crashing into an outfield wall, or knee injuries from breaking up double plays--but more often simply of the nagging variety, such as strains and sprains.
Because Lynn longed to play in California where he had grown up, the Red Sox traded him to the Angels after the 1980 season. However, away from Fenway Park, which was friendly to left-handed hitters like him, 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 in 1983, he hit the only grand slam in All-Star Game history. His four home runs in All-Star games is second only to Stan Musial.
Following the 1984 season, Lynn signed a lucrative contract with the Orioles, who signed numerous free agents in the mid-1980s in an ultimately unsuccessful effort to win another World Series. At this time, one newspaper report criticized Lynn saying, "He could pull a hamstring while taking a shower." Lynn never once played more than 150 games in a season and only topped 140 games four times.
Detroit acquired Lynn for their 1988 pennant drive, which also proved unsuccessful. Following a disappointing 1989 season, Lynn wrapped up his career with one season with San Diego, retiring at the age of 38 with career statistics that only hinted at his early potential.
- 9-consecutive times All-Star (1975-83)
- MVP (1975)
- Rookie of the Year (1975)
- AL Championship Series MVP (1982)
- 4-time Gold Glove (1975, 1978-80. 1982)
- Led league in batting average (.333, 1979)
- Twice Top 10 MVP (1975, 1979)
- Twice led league in slugging average (1975, 1979)
- Led league in On base percentage (1979)
- Twice led league in on-base plus slugging (.967, 1975; 1.059, 1979)
- Led league in runs (1975)
- Hit for the cycle (1980)
- Hit 3 home runs, triple, single, and drove 10 runs in a game, and his 16 total bases tied a MLB record for a single game ( June 18, 1975)
- Hit first ever Grand Slam in an All-Star game in 1983