Fred Lynn: 'Never saw a Sox scout'

September, 30, 2010
Fred Lynn is among the former Red Sox players telling stories in "When the Game Changed: An Oral History of Baseball's True Golden Age: 1969-1979" by Chicago author George Castle (Lyons Press).

Here's Lynn, talking about being drafted by the Sox:

"Frank Malzone scouted me. Someone came up to me and handed me a scouting report when I was in high school, signed by Frank. It said I could do this and do that. Said I’d accepted a scholarship to play football at Southern Cal -- and it will cost a lot of money to sign him. I loved that part of it. The Dodgers and Orioles scouted me, I didn’t see Frank there ( El Monte , Calif. ). Those two teams wanted to draft me in the first round, but didn’t know whether I’d be an outfielder or a pitcher. When they heard I was going to USC to play football, they knew the ante was going up. I was going to go to school.

“The Yankees drafted me in the second round anyway even though we told everyone was going to school. I played for a semi-pro team at 16 called the Pasadena Yankees. We had the old hand-me-down Yankees uniforms -- I wore Moose Skowron’s ‘uni’ No one knew this story ‘till I told it a few years ago. I played baseball at USC and never saw a Red Sox scout. When they drafted me, I was stunned. They were invisible. (George) Steinbrenner ended up trying to get me in a deal for (Dave) Winfield, when he was having trouble with him, when I was with the Orioles.

“We already played together as a unit, and were comfortable with each other. There was a real camaraderie with the core of young players on that team. It was very, very easy to play. It was predicated on the ballpark. They didn’t have too many home-grown lefties. It’s a hitters’ park. You’re going to out-hit people and they did the best they could with pitchers.”

Gordon Edes

ESPN Staff Writer



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