Paul Lindblad Dies
by Ken Arneson
2006-01-09 13:47

Bruce Markusen passes on the news that Paul Lindblad recently passed away.

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.

Comments: 1
1.   Bruce Markusen
2006-01-09 21:12

1.  Ken, a great observation on the 1974 Paul Lindblad card. He didn't throw hard like Mitch Williams, but that finish to his delivery was a bit unusual.

In today's game, an effective left-hander like Lindblad (who could pitch almost any role in relief) would probably command a three-year deal in the $15 million range. Lindblad was a very good relief pitcher for a long time.

On a far more important note, Lindblad suffered with Alzheimer's for a number of years, more than 10 I believe. He was diagnosed with it at a young age, in his early fifties.

My condolences to his wife, Kathy, and the rest of his family.

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