Card-by-Yankees Card: The 1977 Topps Set, Cards #583, Paul Lindblad (Article 114)
by Paul Semendinger
(Continuing a series…)
The 1972 Oakland A's won the World Series. Within a few years, their top two starting pitchers, by games started (at least) Catfish Hunter and Ken Holtzman, would be Yankees. The Yankees also acquired Vida Blue, another of the A's big time starting pitchers, but the Commissioner of Baseball vetoed the deal.
In 1973, the A's won the World Series again. Paul Lindblad pitched in 36 games for that team. He then pitched in 45 games for the 1974 World Champion A's. He too would one day be a Yankee.
It seemed there was a time when the Yankees loved acquiring members from the A's dynasty.
Of the players that were members of the 1972-74 Oakland A's, the following would all eventually be Yankees:
This sort of reminds me of the way the Yankees gathered talent from the great Mets teams of the late 1980s. All of the following Mets from 1986-87 eventually became Yankees:
It seems in the history of the 1970s through 1990s that the Yankees liked to collect players from certain teams.
By the time Paul Lindblad became a Yankee, his career was just about over. In fact, Lindblad pitched his last big league games with the Yankees.
Paul Lindblad came up with the 1965 Kansas City A's and pitched with that franchise until May 1971 when he was traded to the Washington Senators. Lindblad would return to the A's in 1973 from the Texas Rangers (who the Senators became). In 1972, while with the Rangers, Lindblad led the American League in games pitched with 66. He threw 99 innings, all out of the bullpen that year. In two other seasons, 1975 and 1976, with the A's, he appeared in 65 or more games and threw over 100 innings all out of the bullpen.
In total, Lindblad would spend eleven seasons with the A's. He pitched in 479 games for them, mostly as a relief pitcher. He made a total of only 30 starts in all that time. For the A's, Lindblad went 52-45, 3.29. He saved 64 games.
Lindblad faced Willie Mays, a pinch-hitter in Game Three of the 1973 World Series. Mays grounded into a force out at second base in what would be his last ever at bat in the Major Leagues.
A few years later, on September 28, 1975, on the last day of the season, Lindblad combined with Vida Blue, Glenn Abbott, and Rollie Fingers on the first ever no-hitter that included three or more pitchers.
In 1977 and 1978, Lindblad pitched for the Texas Rangers (again) and, on August 1, 1978, Lindblad was sold to the Yankees. He pitched in seven games for the Yankees making one start. He pitched 18.1 innings, amassed an ERA of 4.42. He struck out nine batters, but also allowed four homers (yikes).
Paul Lindblad's one start as a Yankee came on September 4, 1978 at Yankee Stadium against the Detroit Tigers. He allowed two runs over three innings in a game the Yankees would lose 5-4. Sparky Lyle (who will be featured next in this series) took the loss in that game. Also because of the way these things go, Aurelio Rodriguez (who I wrote about yesterday) hit a homer off Lindblad.
The four players who homered off Paul Lindblad when he pitched for the Yankees were:
Fred Lynn (Red Sox)
Bob Bailey (Red Sox)
Aurelio Rodriguez (Tigers) and
Dan Briggs (Indians)
On October 1, 1978, the Yankees had a chance to clinch the American League East by defeating the Cleveland Indians. The Yankees lost that game 9-2. The Red Sox won their game that day to force the tie and the one-game playoff the next day in Boston.
In the Yankee game of October 1, it was Paul Lindblad who pitched the final out the Yankees would record in the top of the ninth inning. The player he retired, the only batter he faced that day, was Dan Briggs who had homered the previous game they had faced each other (on September 22. Of note, after homering, he faced Lindblad again and struck out).
Paul Lindblad's final appearance in uniform as a pitcher game in Game 1 of the 1978 World Series. He pitched 2.1 innings of relief in a game the Yankees lost 11-5. Lindblad allowed three runs off four hits.
When the end came, it came fast: Steve Garvey singled, Ron Cey popped out (the last batter Lindblad would ever retire), Dusty Baker singled, Billy North doubled home two runs, and Lee Lacy singled home North. And that was it. Dick Tidrow came in to mop-up the rest of the game.
After the season, the Yankees sold Lindblad to the Seattle Mariners, but he never made it into a game with them.