Happy 63rd birthday to All-Star, MVP and quintessential Fred, Fred Lynn
Happy 63rd birthday to the quintessential Fred Lynn
Fred Lynn is 63 years old Tuesday. The center fielder was an All-Star nine years in a row from 1975 through 1983. He was Rookie of the Year and MVP in '75. He hit the only grand slam ever in All-Star Game history.
He is also the quintessential Fred.
A statistical analysis from FiveThirtyEight estimates the median age of living Freds in America to be roughly 64 years old. Lynn is right in the middle of that mid-50s to mid-70s 25th-to-75th percentile range. He lived in a golden age of Freds.
In 1952, when Lynn was born, "Frederic" was the 415th most popular baby name in the United States. It fell out of the Social Security Administration's top 1,000 by 1980. The more prevalent "Frederick" was the 76th most popular male baby name in the U.S. in '52 -- much closer to the 1915 mark of 52nd than 2013's 492nd spot.
Simply, the name Fred -- in all of its iterations -- has suffered a precipitous decline in popularity since Lynn's prime. One of today's token MLB Freds goes by the emphatically youthful Freddie. Even Frederick Porcello is Rick, not Fred.
One day, there will be a Fred resurgence. And that day, we will all be celebrating.