- Off the top of my head, I can't think of many rookies that got off to a better start than Fred Lynn. He was the first player to win Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same year (1975). Fred led the league in runs, slugging percentage, and OPS, and came within two points of winning the batting title (he hit .331, Hal McRae hit .332, and George Brett won the title at .333). He also had a nice postseason in '75, batting .364 in the ALCS and .280 in the World Series. I was only eight years old in 1975 and I was rooting for the Reds in the World Series, but I thought he was fun to watch.
- Fred had good years in 1976-1978, and then had a great year in 1979 (.333, 39 HR, 122 RBI, 4th in MVP voting). He was traded to California after the 1980 season and had a poor, injury-riddled year in 1981. He bounced back in 1982 with a good year (.299, 21 HR, 86 RBI). Fred stayed with the Angels through the 1984 season then signed with Baltimore as a free agent. He made $1 million plus per year from 1985-1988 but didn't produce as much as the Orioles would have liked. Lynn was acquired by the Detroit Tigers for their unsuccessful 1988 stretch run and he played with the Tigers through the 1989 season. Lynn finished up his career with the San Diego Padres in 1990.
- Fred won four Gold Glove awards and was a nine-time All Star. Lynn was the 1982 ALCS MVP in a losing effort and was the 1983 All Star Game MVP. He hit a grand slam off of Atlee Hammaker -- the only grand slam in All Star Game history.
- A few links:
Mark Meleski, Season Openers - 2
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