When you're a nine-time All-Star and former Most Valuable Player, you know you're doing something right. That is exactly the case for former major league outfielder Fred Lynn, who made a name for himself patrolling center field at Fenway Park for the Boston Red Sox, and playing alongside the likes of Rod Carew, Don Baylor and Reggie Jackson with the California Angels.
Now that he's long been retired, Lynn is working hard to raise awareness and support for the Little League Urban Initiative program, which supports the growth of Little League Baseball in the United States. Along with a number of other athletes and celebrities, he is touring from coast to coast with the Subway Baseball Designs Tour, spreading the word about his cause.
The tour led him straight into Phoenix, Arizona at the beginning of the week, coinciding with MLB's All-Star Game. The former All-Star Game MVP returned to the banner that made him infamous, and I had the pleasure of asking him a few questions by phone.
In a piece that I wrote, here, Lynn talked about everything from his tour to what it was like launching that mammoth grand slam during the 1983 All-Star Game. To this day, he remains the only person to ever hit a grand slam during the event.
During the conversation though, I had the opportunity to ask Lynn about something interesting. He was easily one of the greatest outfielders of his day, having success both offensively and defensively, and I was curious as to which players of recent memory inspired him by playing the game the same way that he did.
The slides that follow are the first five outfielders that Lynn named when I asked him that question. Not surprisingly, all five of them are top talents that excelled at all facets of the game.