Tuesday, November 10, 2009

1976 Topps #263 - Lyman Bostock

  • Lyman Bostock's promising career was cut short on September 23, 1978 when he was shot and killed in Gary, Indiana. Bostock was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 1972. He played in the minors from 1972-1975, hitting well at every stop. He was promoted to the Twins in early 1975 after batting .391 in 22 games at AAA Tacoma.
  • Bostock actually started the 1975 season with the Twins but was sent back down to Tacoma in late Apri after starting the season batting .219 in 36 AB. After his recall he continued to struggle until the All Star break. Bostock was batting .195 at the break but came on strong to finish the season with a .282 average in 99 games.
  • Lyman became the Twins' starting center fielder in 1976 and had a nice season. He batted .323 in 128 games and finished fourth in the AL in batting average. Bostock's best season was 1977. He batted .336 with 36 doubles, 12 triples, 14 homers, and 90 RBI in 153 games. Lyman finished second in the AL in batting, two points behind teammate Rod Carew. He became a free agent after the season and signed with the California Angels.
  • Bostock started slowly in 1978 and offered to forfeit his salary in April when he wasn't hitting well (he batted .147 for the month). The Angels refused the offer, but Lyman donated a month's salary to charity because he didn't think he deserved it. Bostock's bat heated up in June and on September 23 he was batting .296.
  • The Angels were in Chicago and Lyman went to visit relatives in his hometown of Gary. He was being driven by an uncle and a woman he had only known for 20 minutes was in the back seat with him. The woman's estranged boyfriend pulled up alongside the car at a traffic light. The man got out and fired a shot into the back seat. The blast was meant for the woman but it struck Bostock in the right temple and he was pronounced dead two hours later.
  • Here is an ESPN story called Fifth and Jackson about Bostock's death.

The Lyman Bostock Story (2 parts)

  • Liked to face: Jim Slaton (.500 in 28 AB); Fergie Jenkins (.387 in 31 AB); Doug Bird (.423 in 26 AB); Doc Medich (.481 in 27 AB)
  • Hated to face: Nolan Ryan (.172 with 12 strikeouts in 29 AB); Rick Wise (.143 in 28 AB); Pat Dobson (.182 in 22 AB)


  1. Great post Matt. By all accounts he was a great person. What a shame his life and very promising career were cut short.

  2. Wow! What a story. I've never heard about this before. Great post.