Saturday, August 6, 2016

#46 Lindy McDaniel - San Francisco Giants. What Faith and Good Attitude will do for you.

 Up next is a pitcher who, some would call a journeyman for appearing on 5 teams but it was 5 teams over the course of 20 years, Lindy McDaniel.

McDaniel is a player I came to learn more and more about as I grew older. As a kid, I saw this card and it was like looking at hundreds of others in the set. Only Giant cards I cared about were McCovey's, Mays' and Jesus Alou's who when I was a boy thought it was pronounced the same as Jesus Christ.

I remember reading either in Jim Bouton's Foul Ball or Was It Something I Said how McDaniel was someone who wore his religion on his sleeve. I remember Bouton writing that he was perhaps annoyed by that in his short time teammate. (Both were on the '68 Yankees team). I may be wrong but I don remember his mentioning McDaniel's deep faith which clearly served him well in his career and I would hope, his life.

McDaniel put in the time in the Majors. 21 years, 987 games pitched, 2139 innings pitched. Throughout all of those years, he never pitched for a team that made the post season but he managed 141 wins, mostly in relief. His finest stint came with the Yankees. by then, in his early to mid 30's, he hit a groove, with a 2.89 era and had a 38-29 record for the Yankees. He went on to round out his career with the Kansas City Royals who hadn't yet become the force they would become in the late 70's.

Anyone who can roll along in the Majors for that long must be blessed with good health and a good attitude and for many, the best way to reach that attitude is a strong belief system.

As I said, this card was run of the mill to my younger eyes. San Francisco Giants might as well have been playing in a different country when you're a Jersey kid. I never saw their games and I grew to loath the team in 1989 for knocking out the Cubs decisively in the National League Championship Series.

The team logo on the hat, and road jersey looks plain and uninteresting on this card. The green lettering for the team name wasn't eye grabbing. The picture looks to be taken on a spring training field. There's nothing but a barren blue sky, a dull looking wall and grass. Lindy looks good in the picture, the pose is standard had he pitched for the Yankees and were featured with them, it would have made an impact but, the Giants?

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