April 16, 1954

Baseball history is littered with tragic stories, few more so than that of Lynn native, Boston University All-American quarterback and Red Sox first baseman Harry Agganis.

How many athletes have the opportunity to choose his profession: Pro football or Major League Baseball?

Paul Brown tried luring Agganis to choose his Cleveland Browns with a $25,000 bonus. When Tom Yawkey took his place at the table, Brown never had chance; his offer was $35,000.

Agganis died June 26, 1955. The Golden Greek died of a pulmonary embolism, just weeks after a two-week hospitalization with pneumonia.

But after beginning his first season with the Red Sox with two hits, the 25-year-old star proclaimed his intention to play for his hometown for years to come, and drew rave reviews, as reported by the Boston Globe.

Lefty Grove: “There is a hitter who stands up there as though he expects to hit.”

Bobby Doerr: “There is a fellow who seems to have the heart.”

Harry Agganis: “Two hits a day will keep the minor leagues away.”