Lindblad was the winning pitcher for the A’s in Game 3 of the 1973 World Series against the Mets, pitching shutout baseball in the ninth and tenth innings. In the 10th, he retired pinch-hitter Willie Mays on a groundout to end the inning. It was Mays’ final career at-bat.
I wish I could say I had some clear memory of watching Lindblad play, but I don’t really. I remember mostly my impression of him: as a reliable left-handed reliever. A quick look at his stats pretty much confirms that impression. In 1974-76, he pitched over 100 innings each year for the A’s, recording ERAs of 2.06, 2.72, and 3.06.
My other memory of Lindblad is from 1974, when as an eight-year-old, I obsessively collected Topps baseball cards. Lindblad’s 1974 card was, besides Blue Moon Odom’s, the most difficult A’s player card for me to find.
Looking at that card today, it makes me wonder how it could be that I don’t remember Lindblad playing. His follow-through looks positively Mitch Williams-esque. Don’t do that at home, kids.
But whatever the style, it worked for him. He had a career 68-63 record, with 64 saves, a 3.29 ERA, and three World Series rings, 2 with the A’s in 73-74, and one with the Yankees in 1978. That’s a career to be proud of.