Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Michigan, Detroit Tigers legend Don Lund dies at age 90; Played with Browns in 1948

ANN ARBOR – Former University of Michigan three-sport athlete and Hall of Honor inductee Don Lund died in his Glacier Hills home early on Dec. 10 at the age of 90. 

Lund, who was born in Detroit on May 18, 1923, attended the University of Michigan in the early 1940s and played baseball, basketball and football, lettering nine times as a student-athlete.

In 1945, he was a first-round NFL draft pick of the Chicago Bears, but instead chose to sign a minor league baseball deal with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Two years later – on April 12, 1947 – the Dodgers signed both Lund and Jackie Robinson to their first Major League Baseball contracts.

Lund spent seven seasons in the majors, batting .240 with 15 home runs and 86 RBI in 281 career games.

He played with the Dodgers from 1945-1948 when he was traded to the Browns. He appeared in 64 games with the Browns in '48. Lund was traded to Detroit and played with the Tigers in 1949. He played in the minors in 1950-1951 and finished his career back with Detroit from 1952-1954.

Lund was scheduled to attend the Browns Historical Society luncheon this past September, but was unable to travel due to health issues. The Historical Society was able to interview him during the luncheon with a telephone conference call broadcast to all in the banquet hall. 

Lund worked in the Detroit Tigers’ front office from 1963-70, then returned to U-M, where he served as an assistant athletic director from 1970 to his retirement in 1992.

Lund was inducted into the U-M Hall of Honor in 1984 and the state of Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.

His live interview, by telephone, before an assembled crowd of 450 at the St. Louis Browns Historical Society Banquet, September 26, 2013, was his last public appearance.


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