Red Sox Memories: What happened to these 1986 players?
By Rick McNair
Baseball history is littered with the strange, unusual, and the bizarre in the realm of personalities so step right up Steve Lyons of the 1986 Red Sox. Now that notation certainly comes with an asterisk attached since Lyons was gone by the end of June and future Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver arrived to bolster a Red Sox staff. Seaver fell into the just OK category going 4-7, 3.80.
Steve was a product of the Red Sox system being honored as a first-round pick (19th) in 1981. Lyons proceeded up the organizational food chain and I remember watching him cavort in the Pawtucket outfield in 1984.
In 1985 it was to Boston and .264 in 133 games. As 1986 drifted along so did the left-hand hitting Lyons as he joined the other Sox. I missed Lyons as he was a quick favorite of mine so he gets a slide.
He made the baseball rounds never quite living up to what is expected from a number one draft choice -even pinch-hitting with a career .170 average. Lyons eventually – like a feather in the wind – drifted back to Boston where he put the lid on a career 1.9 bWAR. Then Lyons hit the big time.
Lyons’s nickname was “Psycho” and that may be an understatement as his antics either unintentional or intentional have become baseball lore. Most notable was Lyon’s famous “Moon Shot” where the need to get the dirt out of his pants simply had Lyons drop his draws for the fans and television audience.
Lyons’s post-career has been as nomadic as his career but only in broadcasting with hirings and firings and controversy. Red Sox fans know him on NESN and occasionally in the broadcast booth. A love him or hate him personality best described by his literary accomplishment – with a foreword by (no surprise) Steven King. Lyons just made the game fun.