Tuesday, January 26, 2010

#244 Lindy McDaniel

#244 Lindy McDaniel
I think we can safely add "Lindy" to the list of names we may never see again in baseball. His birth name was Lyndall, by the way. I was going to make a Triple Lindy joke, but regrettably McDaniel never hit a three-bagger in his career. Que sera, sera.

Fun facts about Lindy McDaniel:

-Born in Hollis, OK, Lindy signed as a bonus baby with the Cardinals in 1955.

-His brother Von McDaniel was a pitcher and a fellow St. Louis bonus baby; they were teammates in 1957 and 1958. Another brother, Kerry Don McDaniel, was a minor league pitcher for the Cards.

-After appearing in only four games as a 19-year-old rookie, he hit the ground running in 1956, amassing a 3.40 ERA in 39 games (32 as a reliever). The following year he started a career-high 26 games and went 15-9 with a 3.49 ERA and 10 complete games.

-Was the Cardinal bullpen ace by 1960, when he had a career year: 12-4 (including 12-2 in relief), 2.09 ERA, 26 saves (led the N.L. in this category for the second straight year), 0.94 WHIP, and 105 strikeouts against just 24 walks (4.38-to-1). He made his only All-Star team, finished third in Cy Young and fifth in MVP voting, and won the inaugural Sporting News Reliever of the Year Award.

-After a couple of down years, Lindy was traded to the Cubs in a six-player deal. He rebounded with a strong 1963 season: 13-7, 2.86 ERA, and a league-best 22 saves. The effort earned him a second Reliever of the Year Award.

-While pitching for the Yankees in August 1968, he retired 32 consecutive batters over a span of four relief appearances. On August 23, 1968, he entered a tied game in the ninth inning and stymied the Tigers for seven perfect innings. After McDaniel was long gone, the game was ruled a tie at the conclusion of the 19th inning!

-Had one of his best seasons at age 34 in 1970, when he went 9-5 with 29 saves, a 2.01 ERA, and a 0.99 WHIP for the Yankees.

-Lindy must have had Detroit's number. On August 4, 1973, he entered a game in Tiger Stadium in the second inning and held the home team to six hits and one run in thirteen innings, earning the win.

-Retired after two solid seasons with the Royals. In a 21-year career, he was 141-119 with a 3.45 ERA and 172 saves. He appeared in 987 games, which was second only to Hoyt Wilhelm at the the time of his retirement.

-A longtime devoted member of the Church of Christ, McDaniel wrote a monthly newsletter entitled Pitching for the Master. It was distributed to his fellow church members and other MLB players and their families.
#244 Lindy McDaniel (back)

6 comments:

  1. Lindy actually has a Website Dedicated to him.

    http://www.lindymcdaniel.com/

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  2. Lindy McDaniel was involved in the best regular season game I was ever lucky enough to see. Yanks at Memorial Stadium in July of 1970. Back and forth game, one team jumping on the other, a pair of homers by Frank Robinson, the second of which came in the bottom of the 9th after a Yankee rally had put them up by two runs. McDaniel was pitching and proceeded to load the bases with none out. Then he buckled down and stuck out Crowley and Hendricks on three pitches each. Buford got two strikes on HIM and them laced a single to right to win the game. Eight strikes in a row for Lindy with the winning run on second. Amazingly fun game.

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  3. deal - Good to know!

    Bob - Lindy probably doesn't get as much recognition as he deserves for an amazing and long career. He's definitely one of those guys whose achievements impressed me when I did my research.

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  4. Great to see the Polo Grounds behind Lindy in that picture. Commish, I watched that game on TV, it was unforgettable. A sound-bite of Buford's hit is on the "Year of the Birds" 1970 Orioles highlights album.

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  5. I remember that my dad and uncle and I had passed up a chance to go to the previous nite when Brooks won the game with a grand slam in the bottom of the 10th. Turned out that the game we did attend was even better.
    A few years later I was in Houston and my buddy and I had used our college newspaper credentials to worm our way into the MLB Winter Meetings. I got to sit at Earl Weaver's table for a luncheon and asked him about that game. He seemed to remember every pitch and went on and on about it. Good times, indeed.

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