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Former Cubs reliever Lindy McDaniel has passed away

The righthander pitched 21 big-league seasons.

Lindy McDaniel, a righthanded reliever who pitched for the Cubs from 1963-65, has passed away at age 84, per the Associated Press.

McDaniel pitched for the Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, Yankees and Royals in a 21-year career from 1955-75, and had his best years in St. Louis and New York.

He did have three fine years for the Cubs and led the National League in saves in 1963 with 22. He was also involved in two significant Cubs trades, both arriving and departing.

The Cubs acquired McDaniel from the Cardinals, along with Larry Jackson and Jimmie Schaffer, on October 17, 1962 in exchange for George Altman, Don Cardwell and Moe Thacker. While (obviously) that deal didn’t bring a World Series to Chicago, McDaniel had three fine years in a Cubs uniform. He was then traded, along with Don Landrum, to the Giants for Randy Hundley and Bill Hands, a deal that was a huge success for the Cubs. Meanwhile, Jackson had three good years as a Cub, including finishing second in Cy Young voting in 1964, before being included with Bob Buhl in a trade to the Phillies that brought Fergie Jenkins and Adolfo Phillips to Chicago.

My favorite McDaniel Cubs story is this one.

On June 6, 1963, the Cubs were playing the Giants at Wrigley Field. Billy Williams had hit a two-run homer off Juan Marichal in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game 2-2, and it went into extra innings.

McDaniel entered the game with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the 10th.

With Ed Bailey at bat, McDaniel picked Willie Mays off second base. He then struck out Bailey to end the inning.

The Giants sent Billy Pierce, normally a starter, to throw the bottom of the 10th. He ran a 2-2 count on McDaniel, and then Lindy hit a walkoff homer. If ever a baseball player can be said to have singlehandedly won a game for his team, McDaniel surely did so on that day. It’s the only walkoff home run ever by a Cubs relief pitcher. The win gave the Cubs a tie for first place in the National League with the Cardinals and Giants, a rare occurrence in those days.

Thanks for the memories, Lindy, and condolences to his family and friends.