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Lyman Bostock

Lyman Wesley Bostock Jr. (November 22, 1950 - September 23, 1978) was a baseball player for the Minnesota Twins and California Angels.

An outfielder, Bostock finished fourth in the tight American League batting race in 1976, his first full season in the majors. After finishing second in the league in batting in 1977, Bostock became one of baseball's earliest big-money free agents, signing with the California Angels, owned by Gene Autry. Bostock almost immediately donated $10,000 of his newfound wealth to a church in his native Birmingham, Alabama to rebuild its Sunday school.

Bostock's 1978 season started off a disaster, with him batting only .150 for the month of April. Bostock went to Autry and attempted to give back his April salary, saying he hadn't earned it. Autry refused, so Bostock announced he would be donating his April salary to charity. Thousands of requests came in for the money, and Bostock went through each of them, trying to determine who needed it the most.

Bostock worked the rest of the season to get his batting average up over .300. On Sept. 23, 1978, with his batting average sitting at .296 after a game with the Chicago White Sox, Bostock visited his uncle in Gary, Indiana. Sitting in the back seat of his uncle's car at a stoplight, a man walked up to the car and fired a shotgun blast that killed Bostock.

By some accounts, the gunman was aiming for the woman sitting next to Bostock in the car, and by other accounts, it was a case of mistaken identity. A man named Leonard Smith served 21 months in prison for Bostock's death.

Lyman Bostock is interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California.



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