Thursday, May 10, 2012

#169 Doug Flynn - Montreal Expos

Another Montreal Expos card.  Actually it's just the second Expo in six cards but still I'm still recovering from the purple and orange combo from David Palmer's card.  This is Flynn's 8th card and first as an Expo.  Montreal acquired Flynn in an August transaction.  I wonder if Topps had a card of Flynn as a Ranger ready to go, possibly explaining why Flynn appears so soon after Palmer?

Player:  After attending the University of Kentucky for a year, Doug Flynn attended a tryout and signed with the Cincinatti Reds franchise.  He spent three years in the minors before making the 1975 team.  Playing a utility infielder role for the Big Red Machine, Flynn got into 89 games in his rookie year backing up Morgan, Concepcion, and Rose.  Flynn batted .268 with a home run and three steals, but did not see the field in the postseason. 

In '76 the Reds repeated as champs and Flynn played one inning in the NLCS.  During the regular season Flynn batted .283/.312/.338 in 235 plate appearances.  Although he would play nine more seasons, he never would exceed the offensive rate stats achieved in his sophomore season.

Flynn returned in '77 with the Reds but was traded to the Mets with Steve Henderson, Dan Norman, and Pat Zachry for Tom Seaver on June 15.  The Mets made several moves and turned over a good chunk of the roster in what has been referred to as the Midnight Massacre.  With the Mets, Flynn was thrust into a starting role and split time between second base and shortstop.  In 300 trips to the plate Flynn batted .191 for his new team with only seven extra base hits.

Flynn was tabbed as the Mets starting second baseman in '78 and he would hold down the job through the '81 season.  His batting average ranged from .222 to .255 over this time and he won a Gold Glove in 1980 based on a lofty .991 fielding percentage.

After the '81 season the Mets traded Flynn and Dan Boitano to the Rangers for reliever Jim Kern.  Flynn struggled with the Rangers and was batting .211 when he was sold to the Expos for $40,000.  He spent the next two and half years in Montreal playing regularly despite a .240-ish average, no extra base power, and very little patience at the plate.

Flynn was no longer a regular in '85, in fact he only played in nine of the Expos first 53 games.  They released him on June 11, but he was signed by the Tigers where he batted .255 in a utility role.  The Tigers cut Flynn the next spring and his career was over after 11 seasons.
Flipside:  Despite getting steady playing time from '78-'84, Flynn had woeful walk rates, earning a free pass in just 3.7% of his career plate appearances.  If his intentional walks are subtracted (Flynn often batted in front of the pitcher) his career walk total drop to 93 and his walk rate to 2.3%.

Oddball:  The Big Hair and Plastic Grass blog has a good look at Flynn's hair before and after his trade to the Mets, as well as an, um, uh,... interesting picture with Joel Youngblood.

Flynn tied a major league record when he hit three triples in a game on 8/5/80

In a sad and mysterious case, Doug's sister Melanie Flynn went missing in 1977.  Her disappearance has never been solved.

History:  Flynn won two championship rings with the Reds at the beginning of his career.  His skill set never really matched the playing time he received but his consistent fielding kept him around for eleven years.   His career totals: 918 hits, 7 HR, 20 SB, .238/.266/.294.

After managing in the minors with the Mets organization for a while, Flynn got into the banking industry.  


  1. I knew it looked familiar -- Doug's 1977 card is scheduled in a couple of days.

  2. Cool, I always like it when that happens.