Former Major League Baseball all-star closer Lindy McDaniel of Hollis, Oklahoma died at the age of 84 on Saturday of coronavirus according to the New York Times. McDaniel played 21 seasons of Major League Baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees, and Kansas City Royals from 1955 to 1975.
McDaniel had a record of 141 wins and 119 losses with an earmed run average of 3.45 in 987 games. He had 174 career saves in 2139 1/3 innings pitched. McDaniel also had 1361 strikeouts, and gave up 2099 hits, 821 earned runs, and 623 walks. McDaniel also had a career WHIP of 1.27.
Three times in McDaniel’s career he led the National League in saves. He had 16 saves with the Cardinals in 1959, and 27 saves with the Cardinals in 1960. Then with the Cubs in 1963, he had 22 saves. In the two seasons McDaniel led the National League in saves with the Cardinals, he also led Major League Baseball in saves.
In 1960, McDaniel had his most notable season. He had a record of 12 wins, four losses, and an earned run average of 2.09. In 65 games, he had 27 saves and 105 strikeouts. In 116 1/3 innings pitched, McDaniel also only gave up 85 hits, 27 earned runs, and 24 walks, for an excellent WHIP of 0.94.
In addition to being an All-Star, McDaniel finished tied for third in the National League Cy Young voting, and fifth in the National League most valuable player award voting. He finished third in the Cy Young voting behind winner Vern Law of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Warren Spahn of the Milwaukee Braves. In fact, McDaniel was tied with Cardinals starting pitcher Ernie Broglio in National League Cy Young voting.
Despite being tied for third in the National League Cy Young voting in 1960, he got the most vote points among pitchers for the National League Most Valuable Player award with 95 points. There he was behind Pirates shortstop (and winner) Dick Groat, Pirates third baseman Don Hoak, San Francisco Giants outfielder Willy Mays, and Chicago Cubs shortstop Ernie Banks.
In additon to being a strong pitcher, McDaniel was a respectable hitter. He had 56 career hits and 14 career extra base hits. In 1972, McDaniel became the last Yankees pitcher to hit a home run before the American League instituted the designated hitter rule in 1973.