Jerry Lynch was born on Thursday, July 17, 1930, in Bay City, Mich.
In 1950 at age 19, Lynch began his pro career in the Minor Leagues with the Greenville Bucks of the Cotton State League (a class ‘C’ independent league). He played there one season and batted .329 with 10 HR and 167 hits in 507 at bats.
Jerry played for the Norfolk Tars of the Piedmont League in “B’ ball. He batted .333 with 21 homers and 180 hits in 541 at bats.
He was brought into the Major Leagues in 1953 by the Pittsburgh Pirates. In his rookie campaign with the Bucs, Lynch batted .239 with eight HR and 36 RBI.
His first stint with the Pirates lasted three years and he hit .258 with 13 HR and 64 RBI with 151 hits and 71 runs scored.
Jerry was part of the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati Railroad (my own terminology), that over the years sent Bob Purkey, Bob Skinner, Gene Freese, Harvey Haddix, Bill Henry, Gus Bell, Don Hoak, Smoky Burgess, and others to the other team and sometimes back again.
Lynch was traded to Cincinnati in 1957 and from then until 1960 he batted .287, hit 43 HR and drove in 166. He also collected 311 hits and scored 141 runs while playing part time and averaging less than 300 plate appearances per year.
In 1961, Jerry played a vital role in helping the Reds win the National League pennant for the first time since 1940. Not known for slick fielding, Jerry gained notoriety as a pinch-hitter. “Lynch in a pinch”, that was the battle cry in 1961. Jerry batted .315 while hitting 13 HR and driving in 50. His OPS+ that season was an excellent 167. He actually was 22nd in voting for the MVP Award that year.
He batted a hefty .348 in pinch hitting roles in ’61, with four HR and 19 RBI.
During his entire tenure with Cincinnati, Lynch batted .289 with 70 HR and 282 RBI, 457 hits and 220 runs scored.
He was sent back to Pittsburgh during the 1963 season and he retired after the 1966 season. When he retired Jerry ranked first all-time with 18 pinch-hit HR, second in pinch-hits with 116 and tied for pinch hit appearances with 447. He led the National League in pinch-hits in 1960 and '61, with 19 each year.