Worthy honor: Lynn, Tamburro get call to PawSox Hall of Fame

Worthy honor: Lynn, Tamburro get call to PawSox Hall of Fame

Former center fielder, team president will be inducted May 26

PAWTUCKET – Former Pawtucket Red Sox and Boston Red Sox center fielder Fred Lynn, pictured left, along with longtime PawSox executive Mike Tamburro, have been selected as this year’s PawSox Hall of Fame inductees and will be inducted in special pre-game ceremonies prior to the PawSox’s game against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Saturday, May 26, at 6:15 p.m. at McCoy Stadium.

The third-ever PawSox Hall of Fame class was chosen by a 14-person panel, which includes club executives, print and broadcast media members, longtime fans, and historians.

Ben Mondor, the late longtime PawSox owner, along with former Pawtucket Red Sox and Boston Red Sox legends Wade Boggs and Jim Rice, both National Baseball Hall of Fame players, comprised the inaugural 2016 class, and last year’s selections included another National Baseball Hall of Famer, Carlton Fisk, and a pair of fellow Boston Red Sox Hall of Famers, Mo Vaughn and manager Joe Morgan.

“The PawSox Hall of Fame celebrates our franchise’s most legendary figures,” said PawSox Executive Vice President/General Manager Dan Rea, “and we’re especially happy to congratulate our good friends, Fred Lynn and Mike Tamburro. They represent everything that is good about the PawSox.”

Lynn played one full season for the PawSox in 1974, batting .282 with 21 home runs and 68 RBIs in 124 games, before becoming the talk of the baseball world one year later. Lynn actually made his PawSox debut the previous September, as he and Rice were promoted from Double-A Bristol in time for the International League playoffs.

Lynn and Rice, who would be dubbed the “Gold Dust Twins” during their historic 1975 season with the Red Sox, first helped lead Pawtucket to the 1973 Governors’ Cup Championship. Lynn was initially called up to Boston in September of 1974, and in 15 games with the Red Sox, hit .419.

During his memorable 1975 season, Lynn became the first Major League player to be named Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in the same season. In taking the Red Sox to the 1975 World Series, Lynn batted .331 with 21 home runs and 105 RBIs and led the American League in doubles (47), runs (103), and slugging percentage (.566).

Lynn’s best season came in 1979 with the Red Sox when he won the A.L. batting title with a .333 average and had 39 home runs and 122 RBIs, which are career-highs in all three categories.

A nine-time A.L. All-Star (from 1975-1983), including six straight years with Boston (1975-1980), Lynn was also a four-time Gold Glove winning outfielder (1975, 1978-80). He was the ALCS MVP in 1982 for the California Angels, when he hit .611 (11-for-18) during the series to become the only player from a losing team named a playoff MVP. Lynn was also the All-Star Game MVP in 1983 after belting the first (and to this point) only grand slam homer in All-Star Game history.

In 17 years in the majors, Lynn, who turned 66 on Feb. 3 and currently lives in Carlsbad, Calif., hit .283 with 306 home runs and 1,111 RBIs in 1,969 games. He was also inducted in the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2002 and the College Baseball Hall of Fame five years later.

Tamburro, who is also 66, was the president of the PawSox from 1985-2015 after serving as the team’s general manager from 1977-1984. He is a co-owner of the club and currently serves as its vice chairman.

Tamburro came to Pawtucket in 1977 at the urging of the Boston Red Sox, who teamed him with Mondor to save the troubled AAA affiliate for Rhode Island. That began the remarkable transformation that has seen the PawSox rise from a previously bankrupt organization to one of the strongest and most successful franchises in all of professional baseball.

Under Tamburro’s leadership, the PawSox went from drawing 70,000 fans in 1977 to 560,000 fans or more for 15 consecutive years (1999-2013). The PawSox also enjoyed a stretch of six straight seasons with an attendance of 600,000+ (from 2004-2009). Overall, during his 42-year tenure, the PawSox have had over 18 million fans visit McCoy Stadium.

Tamburro, who was inducted into the International League Hall of Fame in 2012, is the only executive to earn the I.L. Executive of the Year Award five different times, doing so in 1984, 1988, 2001, 2004, and 2008.

He is a past member and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees (the governing body of minor league baseball), a founding board member of BIRCO (Baseball Internet Rights Corp.), and a current director of the league. Tamburro also served as chairman of the Presidential Search Committee charged to find a new president of Minor League Baseball for 2008 and beyond.

Close to home, Tamburro continues to be involved with a number of charities and sits on several charitable boards. A resident of Seekonk, Mass., he is a board member of the Pawtucket Soup Kitchen, the Bristol County Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, and Meeting Street. He is also a trustee of the Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club, and he created the Pawtucket Red Sox Charitable Foundation that supports numerous charitable groups throughout New England.