This Date in Baseball History- November 26, 1975- Boston Red Sox centerfielder Fred Lynn became the first rookie to win both the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player Award in the same season. In the MVP voting Lynn received 22 of the writers’ first place votes- easily beating out Kansas City Royals first baseman John Mayberry.
Fred Lynn had a fantastic all around season in 1975- he could do it all- and he helped lead the Red Sox back to the World Series- where they ended up losing in 7 games to the Cincinnati Reds in one of the greatest World Series ever. I thought in 1975 that Lynn was going to be one of the greats- and while he did have a fine career- a 9 time All-Star, 306 home runs, 1111 RBI’s and a .283 career average- he was injury prone and somehow fell short. He only had one other season where he finished in the Top 10 in MVP voting- when he finished 4th in 1979. There was another rookie that season on the Red Sox- who would become a baseball hall of famer- Jim Rice. The outfield of Rice-Lynn and Dwight Evans was one of the best outfields of the 1970’s.