Feb. 7, 1979

There were lots of baseball people back in the day (players, managers, coaches, paid observers) who were convinced that weight training/lifting was bad. The theory was that guys would become “muscle-bound.”

It was not a particularly enlightened era. Once the poor, deluded muscle-bound souls proved that they could perform as well or better than before, weight training became a common pursuit.

Red Sox center fielder Fred Lynn took to lifting in the winter of 1978-79. As he explained it, he felt like he’d run out of gas by August, 1978. 

(He wasn’t alone, of course; the Red Sox didn’t fritter away a 14-game lead just because Lynn felt run down.)

Digging a little deeper into past seasons, Lynn saw that he routinely lost some pop in his bat after July turned to August. He embarked on a weight training program to ensure he’d maintain strength for the home stretch of the season.

The work paid off with the best offensive season of his career. Playing in 147 games Lynn hit .333 with 39 homers and 122 RBIs.

He never came close to that sort of production again as injuries haunted him for the duration of his career.