Top 50 Sox Seasons #27: Fred Lynn, 1975

.331/.401/.566, .967 OPS, 605 PA, 175 H, 62 BB, 21 HR, 105 RBI, 47 2B, 103 R, 161 OPS+
Postseason: .306/.350/.444, .794 OPS, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K

MVP, Rookie of the Year, All-Star, Gold Glove

Not much can be said about this amazing season from Fred Lynn, who was the first and only (until Ichiro Suzuki) player to win the MVP and Rookie of the Year simultaneously. Although Lynn’s 1979 was statistically better than his 1975, to put up such numbers as a rookie is truly an accomplishment few have ever replicated.

Ironically, Lynn didn’t look like a future ROY when he began 1975 0-for-9 with a sac fly in his first 10 plate appearances. Then he went 8-for-10 with three walks in 13 plate appearances. On May 25, he began a 20-game hitting streak. It would be more than a month before he’d be kept off the basepaths again. During the 38 games, Lynn reached base 70 times, scored 37 times and drove in 38 runs. A testament to Lynn’s greatness in 1975 – the rookie was made the cleanup hitter in the ninth game of the season and never relinquished it.

Key games: June 18. Two feet separate Lynn from a four-homer game; instead, he gets just three home runs, a single and a triple, driving in 10 runs – tying a Major League record that would be broken in 1993, and setting a Red Sox record that will eventually be tied by Nomar Garciaparra – in a 15-1 thrashing of Detroit. Lynn crushes a two-run homer in the first, a three-run shot in the second, a two-run triple in the third off the top of the wall, a leadoff single in the eighth and another three-run shot in the ninth.

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