Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2013 Topps Baseball Release Countdown #9

1976 Topps #9 Paul Lindblad
Teams don't win championships without the Paul Lindblad's of the world. The late reliever, who died New Year's Day, 2006, won three rings while a member of the Oakland A's ('73 & '74) and the New York Yankees (1978).

As a middle reliever, Lindblad was easily the forgotten man in the bullpen- he did, after all, pitch on teams which featured future Hall of Fame closers Rollie Fingers and Goose Gossage. But Lindblad was a solid arm out of the 'pen for fourteen major league seasons with Kansas City/Oakland, Washington/Texas, and the Yankees.

And just as teams need the Lindblad's of the world, so too do the card manufacturers. One of the beautiful things about the base Topps set has been the inclusion of the 'nobodys'- the light hitting shortstop, the reliever who collects 30 IP over 80 appearances, and the 30 year-old AAA catcher who shares a card with last year's first round draft pick- who just also happens to be a backstop.

Two notable events in Paul Lindblad's pitching career:

While pitching in the 10th inning of Game Three of the 1973 World Series, Lindblad got Willie Mays to hit into a ground out to short to end the inning. It would be Mays' final major-league at-bat.

On the final day of the 1975 regular season, Paul combined with starter Vida Blue and two other relievers (including Rollie Fingers) on a combined no-hitter against the Angels.

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