Seasons in Boston: 1974-1980
Honors: 1975 American League MVP, 1975 American League Rookie of the Year, 9x All-Star, 1979 American League Batting Title, 4x Gold Glove
Red Sox Numbers: .308/.383/.520, 124 HR, 523 R, 521 RBI, 43 SB, 142 wRC+, 30.7 fWAR
Signature Season: 1975 .331/.401/.566, 21 HR, 103 R, 105 RBI, 10 SB, 161 wRC+, 7.1 fWAR
Making the case for Fred Lynn over Tris Speaker for the starting spot in center field is one that requires a substantial amount of explaining. Lynn is not in the Hall of Fame. Speaker is, having been elected in 1937 as part of the second class ever inducted. Lynn accumulated just under 50 FanGraphs WAR over his career. Speaker’s total was over 130. Both players have one MVP and one batting title. Lynn won four Gold Glove awards and was considered an excellent center fielder. Speaker is considered to be one of the greatest center fielders of all time. I focus heavily on his defense in my all-time roster article on him. On the surface there isn’t a great argument for Lynn over Speaker.
For me, though, the case for Lynn over Speaker comes down to fit at Fenway Park and fit in the all-time Red Sox roster starting lineup. Let’s start with…