Fredd Lynn only spent the first six years of his career with Boston, but boy, did he ever make them count.
It's an impressive enough feat to win the Rookie of the Year award when your competition is Jim Rice, but it's another thing entirely to be named the American League MVP in the same season. It should be no surprise that this season also produced the first of what would be nine straight appearances in the Midsummer Classic.
Certainly Lynn's consistent All-Star status is worthy of recognition on its own, but this is not Boston's top 10 All-Stars, but our top 10 All-Star game moments, so let's choose one.
Unfortunately for Lynn, his time with the Sox happened to coincide with a period of National League domination in the All-Star Game, but that didn't stop Lynn from bringing his bat. Four times Lynn recorded a hit in an All-Star game wearing a Red Sox uniform, and three times those hits left the park. The one that almost proved the difference against the NL came in 1979.
Easily his best season, Lynn spent much of 1979 making a run at the Triple Crown, and was arguably robbed of the MVP by Don Baylor. He would take just one at bat in the All-Star game, possibly the result of favoritism as manager Bob Lemon opted to replace him with Chet Lemon (no relation, I believe) whom he had coached one year before with the White Sox. Still, that one at bat was a doozy.
The American League started off the game with Nolan Ryan on the mound, but the Angels' ace wasn't his usual self, giving up a walk, a triple, and a double to put the American League down early.
It did not take long for the AL to respond.
Interestingly, it would be some of his biggest competitors for the MVP who Lynn would outdo. First was George Brett, drawing a walk, and then it was Don Baylor doubling him in to make it 2-1. Up stepped Fredd Lynn to face four-time Cy Young winner Steve Carlton. Lynn would only face Carlton twice outside of the All-Star game, going 0-for-2, but this time he didn't have any problem at all. Lynn launched a fly ball over the Kingdome's center field wall, bringing Baylor home with him as he put the American League on top 3-2.
The NL would tie the game in the very next inning, and then take the lead in the fourth before knocking off the American League one more time, 7-6. But for one moment, Lynn put the American League on top. And who knows? If he'd been left in, maybe he could have put them over the top.