Look Who’s Turning 65
Feb. 3—Fred Lynn
The former Major League Baseball center fielder played for the Boston Red Sox (1974–1980), California Angels (1981–1984), Baltimore Orioles (1985–1988), Detroit Tigers (1988–1989) and San Diego Padres (1990). He is best known for being the first player to win the Rookie of the Year award and most valuable player (MVP) in the same season. Lynn was inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2002 and to the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. In 1981, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included him in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time.
Lynn represented the United States at the 1971 Pan American Games, where he won a silver medal. After graduation from the University of Southern California, Lynn started his career for the Red Sox in 1975. He and fellow rookie outfielder Jim Rice were dubbed "Gold Dust Twins." In 1975, Lynn led the American League (AL) in doubles, runs scored and slugging percentage; finished second in the batting race with a .331 average; and won a Gold Glove Award for his defensive play. On June 18 at Tiger Stadium, he hit three home runs, had 10 runs batted in (RBIs); and took 16 total bases in one game.
Despite injuries, such as a broken rib from crashing into an outfield wall, Lynn won three more Gold Gloves in 1978–80 and finished fourth in the 1979 MVP voting. He won the AL batting title in that same year. He was elected to the All-Star team every year with the Red Sox, and was a 9-time All-Star overall in his career. He hit a home run in three All-Star games for the Red Sox—in 1976, 1979 and 1980.
After the 1980 season, the Red Sox traded Lynn to the California Angels, and he never hit over .300 again. Lynn did go on to hit more than 20 home runs in six consecutive seasons starting in 1982 and was selected MVP of the 1982 American League Championship Series, the first player from the losing team ever selected. In 1983, he hit the only grand slam in All-Star history and was named MVP. Following the 1984 season, Lynn signed with the Orioles, but never played more than 150 games in a season and only topped 140 games four times.
Detroit acquired Lynn for their 1988 pennant drive, which also proved unsuccessful. Following a disappointing 1989 season, Lynn ended his career with one season in San Diego (1990), retiring at the age of 38. His 306 career home runs place him ninth among center fielders, behind Willie Mays, Ken Griffey, Jr., Mickey Mantle, Duke Snider, Dale Murphy, Joe DiMaggio, Jim Edmonds and Andrew Jones.
Since retiring, Lynn has raised thousands of dollars through charity work for Child Haven (a home for abused and neglected children) and the animal charity FACE Foundation. He worked as a baseball color analyst for ESPN from 1991 to 1998 and has been a spokesman for Gillette and MasterCard.
Feb. 18—"Juice" (Judy Kay) Newton
The pop and country singer, songwriter and musician received five Grammy award nominations in the Pop and Country Best Female Vocalist categories (winning once in 1983), as well as an Academy of Country Music (ACM )award for Top New Female Artist and two Billboard Female Album Artist of the Year awards. In the early 1970s, Newton and her band, Juice Newton & Silver Spur, scored one charting country single with "Love Is a Word." In late 1977, Newton went solo, and her record It's a Heartache became the first of her 11 "Hot 100" pop hits. Later that year, the album Take Heart featured five charting singles: "Until Tonight,” "Any Way That You Want Me," "You Fill My Life," "Lay Back in the Arms of Someone" and "Sunshine."
In 1981, Newton's third solo album, Juice, spawned three consecutive Top 10 pop hits: "Angel of the Morning," "Queen of Hearts" and "The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known)," which earned Newton the first of several No. 1 country singles. Juice sold more than a million copies in the United States and went triple-platinum in Canada. In 1982, Newton received two Grammy nominations for Best Female Vocalist: one for "Angel of the Morning" in the pop category, and another for "Queen of Hearts" in country. These two singles became her biggest sellers in the United States, each earning a Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Gold certification. The songs were also sizable hits in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and other countries.
In 1982, Newton’s fourth solo album, Quiet Lies, spawned three hits, "Love's Been a Little Bit Hard on Me," "Heart of the Night" and "Break It to Me Gently," and won Newton her first Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. When Newton’s popularity in the pop market started to wane, she targeted her next album, 1985's Old Flame, to country audiences. The strategic move revitalized her career, and the album reached No. 12 on the Billboard album chart and featured six Top 10 country hits, including the No. 1 "You Make Me Want to Make You Mine," "Hurt" and "Both to Each Other (Friends and Lovers)." Newton returned to the Top 10 in 1988 with "Tell Me True" from her 1987 album Emotion. Her final album of the decade, Ain't Gonna Cry (1989), spawned her final Top 40 country hit to date, "When Love Comes Around the Bend."
In the 1990s and 2000s, Newton released several albums with old hits and new songs, including Duets: Friends & Memories (2010) performed with Willie Nelson, Melissa Manchester, Frankie Valli and others. Besides continuing in the music business, Newton works as a horse trader, dealing mostly in European horses.
Feb. 24—Fred Dean
The former National Football League (NFL) player and Pro Football Hall of Fame player started his career with the San Diego Chargers in 1975 and ended with the San Francisco 49ers after the 1985 season. Dean was a standout at Louisiana Tech University, where he excelled as an All-Southland Conference defensive tackle. Drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 1975, Dean recorded 15 ½ sacks in 1978. In 1979, the Chargers won the American Football Conference (AFC) West division while leading the AFC in fewest points allowed, and Dean was named to the All-AFC team. The Chargers again won the AFC West in 1980, with Dean teaming with fellow 1975 Charger draftees Gary "Big Hands" Johnson and Louie Kelcher as the Chargers led the NFL in sacks. He and Johnson were named First-team All-Pro, with Kelcher being named Second-team All-Pro. The trio, along with Leroy Jones, formed a defensive front that was locally nicknamed the Bruise Brothers.
In 1981, Dean was traded to the San Francisco 49ers and helped them win two Super Bowls in the 1980s. His first action of the season as a 49er was noted by author Tom Danyluk as "the greatest set of downs I have ever seen unleashed by a pass rusher." Dean won the United Press International (UPI) National Football Conference (NFC) Defensive Player of the Year while playing in 11 games for the 49ers. In 1983, Dean recorded 17 sacks to lead the NFC and recorded a then-NFL record of six in one game, setting that mark during the 49ers’ 27-0 shutout of the New Orleans Saints on November 13. In 1990, Dean was inducted into the Louisiana Tech University Athletic Hall of Fame and is a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. In 2009, he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.
FAMOUS & 65 is a featured article in the Senior Spirit newsletter.
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