If you were a fan of Fred Lynn, 1990 was a bittersweet summer.

Bitter, in retrospect, because Lynn would finish his storied and decorated career that October.

Sweet, because the 1990 Topps set(s) turned out to be an unwitting Fred Lynn tribute.

First, there was Lynn’s base card (#107), showing him as a member of the Detroit Tigers:

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Lynn had been a part-timer for the Bengals since they traded for him in August of 1988, through the 1989 season.

Of course, you could find the details of Lynn’s years with the O’s on the back of that card, a three-and-a-half-year run that produced three straight 23-home-run performances, plus 18 more in that partial 1988 season.

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There on the card reverse, you also find evidence of his time with the California Angels, from 1981 through 1984 — amazingly his homer totals with the Halos after the strike-torn ‘81 read 21, 22, and 23.

The man was consistent!

Of course, Lynn rose to fame as a member of the Boston Red Sox in 1975, when he won both the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards — the first player to ever accomplish that dual feat.

The 1990 Topps set commemorated the achievement on card #663:

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The inset is a mock-up solo version of Lynn’s 1975 Topps rookie card, which he shared with three other players.

Fifteen years later, though, Lynn was nearing the end of the line, having not played in as many as 120 games in a season since 1985.

And he was on the move again, having signed a free agent deal with the San Diego Padres in December 1989.

That final season surely didn’t play out like either Lynn or the Friars had hoped, and after hitting .240 with six home runs and 23 RBI in 90 games, the nine-time All-Star called it a career.

But late that fall, just as Lynn’s Hall of Fame clock began to tick, he showed up one last time …

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That 1990 Topps Traded card was cardboard proof that Fred Lynn had been there — San Diego.

And …

Seeing Lynn in a “foreign” uniform is a small price to pay for getting a gander at Lynn’s final go-round in the majors … don’t you think?


Hobby Wow!

If you’re looking for a Lynn collectible with a bit of street appeal, it’s hard to beat this eBay lot …

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That’s a replica 1975 Red Sox jersey with a lengthy inscription (and signature) from the man himself.

Check out the full listing on eBay right here (affiliate link).

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1990 TOPPS BASEBALL CARDS COMPLETE FACTORY SET

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1990 Topps Baseball Cards Nolan Ryan Lot of 6 NM MT #1

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Lot of 4 1990 Topps Baseball Cards, Commons

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1990 Topps Baseball Cards Packs

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