Fred Lynn gave himself one heck of an act to follow.
The Red Sox took the USC star in the second round of the 1973 June Amateir Draft and it didn’t take long for Lynn to arrive in Boston, as he got a September callup in 1974, hitting .419 in 51 at-bats.
That set the stage for one of the most ballyhooed rookie seasons in baseball history.
Lynn led the American League in 1975 in runs, doubles, slugging and OPS on his way to becoming the first — and still only — player in Major League Baseball to be named Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same year.
He also picked up the first of his six All-Star selections with the Red Sox, won the first of his four Gold Gloves for Boston and led the Red Sox to their first AL East title and first American League pennant since 1967.
Lynn played well the next three seasons, though plagued by nagging injuries and not producing the numbers he did as a rookie, but in 1979 he broke out in a big way, winning the batting title and flirting with a Triple Crown with 39 homers and 122 RBI.
He also led the AL in on-base percentage, slugging (and by extension) OPS that season while finishing fourth in the MVP voting.
After another injury-shortened campaign in 1980, Lynn was traded to the California Angels with Steve Renko in January 1981, with Joe Rudi, Frank Tanana and Jim Dorsey coming to the Red Sox.
In parts of seven seasons for the Red Sox, Lynn hit .308/.383/.902, an OPS+ of 141, with 124 homers, 521 RBI and 523 runs scored.
In the 1975 postseason, Lynn hit .306./.341/.786 in 10 games with a homer, eight RBI and four runs scored.
Lynn played 10 more seasons with the Angels, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres before retiring after the 1990 season.
He spent seven years as an analyst for ESPN, also spending time with CBS and FOX, before leaving broadcasting in 1998, per the Society for American Baseball Research.