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Sports Media

Sad Cases: Lyman Bostock, What Could Have Been

Lyman Bostock
(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

Most modern baseball fans of this generation will scratch their heads if you bring up the name Lyman Bostock. In fact, you’d probably have to go as far as to find fans who were alive and around the time when he played from 1975-1978. It’s unfortunate, as this was one of the best players who had it abruptly and tragically come to an end.

As stated above, Bostock only played four seasons in the majors. Three as a Minnesota Twin and one as a California Angel. He was very much in the class of a Rod Carew-type player, who also played for Minnesota and California. Not only this, Bostock was already putting up high batting averages and proving himself as a future all-star. During those four seasons, he hit .311 with a .365 on-base percentage. His best year to this point by far was 1977, where he hit a staggering .336 with 199 hits, a .897 on-base plus slugging, and 104 runs scored. Fans and critics of the game were excited about this man’s potential.

In the offseason, Bostock became a California Angel, remaining in the American League but on the sunny west coast. He was looking to post another solid year, hitting .297, up to the point where everything went downhill. Lyman had a tradition of visiting family and friends in Gary, Indiana whenever he would play games in Chicago. He had a family friend who’s husband had been very jealous and suspicious of his wife committing adultery. Lyman gave her and her sister a ride, and his husband mistaken him in the car for another man. He took out his firearm and shot him dead.

It’s crazy to think that the sports world lost both Lyman Bostock and Thurman Munson within two years. Not only this, but right in the middle of their careers. Munson had reached that pinnacle, and Bostock was steadily approaching some career years for California. It’s hard to speculate but given the trajectory, we could’ve seen another member of the 3,000 hit club.

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