Card fact: This is the final Topps card issued during Lindy McDaniel's career. His last major league season was in 1975.
What I thought about this card then: My brother had this card. To us, McDaniel looked like the definition of a veteran major leaguer. I don't think we ever voiced it, but on the inside, we were thinking "now there's a guy who's been around and knows his ... uh ... stuff."
What I think about this card now: Whenever I see guys who played in the '50s wearing powder blue uniforms, it does not look right.
Other stuff: McDaniel pitched for 21 seasons in the majors, and is known as one of the greatest relief pitchers. He began with the Cardinals and started for them in 1957 and 1958. But after that he was almost exclusively a relief hurler. He led the league in saves in 1959, 1960 and 1963. His 1960 season was his best. He saved 26 games, recorded a 2.09 ERA, went 12-4, finished third in the Cy Young Award voting, and fifth in the MVP balloting.
McDaniel moved on to the Cubs and then the Giants and was effective throughout the '60s. But he returned to the level of his Cardinals days after being dealt to the Yankees for Bill Monbouquette in 1968. He enjoyed a stellar 1970 season, saving 29 games and recording a 2.01 ERA for New York.
After six years with the Yankees, New York sent McDaniel to Kansas City in the Lou Piniella trade. McDaniel pitched two seasons for the Royals before retiring.
McDaniel has his own web site, in which you can check out all his Topps cards.
McDaniel's 1971 Topps card happens to be up for a coveted spot in the esteemed Cardboard Appreciation Hall of Fame at Night Owl Cards.
Back facts: This was my first experience with a player whose career was so long that the stats are crammed onto the back of the card. I had never seen so many years of stats until viewing the Lindy McDaniel card. Topps even squeezed the card number to get all the stats on the back.
Also, I know many, many people don't need an explanation as to who Darrell Royal is, but I sure did when I was a kid. Even today, as someone who pays very little attention to college football, I can tell you only the most basic facts about Royal.
Other blog stuff: The green-purple border combination is now in a first-place tie with the pink-yellow border combo with 55 cards apiece.