Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lindy McDaniel (#496)

Here’s Lindy McDaniel’s card – a near mirror-image of the Joe Gibbon card we just looked at below. Giants’ pitcher? Check! Solid blue background? Check!

Lindy McDaniel pitched for 21 seasons (1955-75) for 5 teams. I identify him as a Giant because that’s where he was when I started collecting cards in 1967 and 1968, but he was only with San Francisco for 3 of his 21 seasons.

McDaniel was primarily a reliever during his career, starting only 74 of his 987 career games. He also collected 172 career saves. Lindy’s years as a starting pitcher were 1957 and 1958. After that, the bullpen was his home. From 1963 to 1972, he made only 3 starts.

McDaniel was signed by the Cardinals in 1955 as a bonus baby, and as such he went directly to the majors. He only appeared in 4 games that first season (all in September), but in 1956 he appeared in 39 games, compiling a 7-6 record.

Lindy joined the starting rotation in 1957 and fashioned a 15-9 record. He struggled in 1958, and was sent to the minors from late-August to early-September – his only time on the farm.

After starting his first 4 games in 1959 (and posting a 1-3 record), McDaniel returned to the bullpen, where he would stay for the rest of his career (except for the occasional spot start). He appeared in over 60 games each in 1959 and 1960, and led the NL in saves both years. Lindy also finished 3rd in the Cy Young voting in 1960.

After the 1962 season, he was traded to the Cubs (with pitcher Larry Jackson and catcher Jimmie Schaffer) for pitcher Don Cardwell, outfielder George Altman, and catcher Moe Thacker. Lindy led the league with 22 saves in his first season in Chicago, but was not as successful in ’64 and ’65.

The Cubs traded him to the Giants after the ’65 season (with outfielder Don Landrum) for pitcher Bill Hands and catching prospect Randy Hundley. McDaniel spent 2 ½ seasons by the Bay until he was traded to the Yankees in July 1968 for pitcher Bill Monbouquette.

Lindy was a workhorse during his 5 ½ seasons in Yankee pinstripes, posting an ERA under 3.00 in four of those seasons. He went 12-6 in his last season with the Yankees.

After the 1973 season, he was traded to the Royals for outfielder Lou Piniella. He wrapped up his long career with 2 seasons in Kansas City.