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On this date in Cardinals History: Jan. 3, 1976

On this date 36 years ago the Royals released record setting former Cardinals reliever Lindy McDaniel after a 21-year career.

McDaniel broke in with the Redbirds in 1955 and was joined in the Cardinals bullpen in 1957 by his younger brother Von. Like the modern day Benes brothers, the McDaniels had a third brother who was in the St. Louis system as a minor leaguer. Andy and Alan Benes had younger brother Adam who never made it to the big leagues. Lindy and Von McDaniels had younger sibling Kerry who pitched three years in the bushes for the Cardinals.

Lindy McDaniel was a pioneer in that he was a specialty reliever at a time when most big league starters thought it was part of their job description to go nine innings. Like most relievers of the day, Lindy began his career as a starter. He was 15-9 in 1957 with a 3.49 ERA. But his 26 starts in 1957 dwindled to 17 the following year and seven in 1959 when he finished 47 games and earned 15 saves.

By 1960 Lindy was in the bullpen fulltime and he found his niche with a 12-4 record and 26 saves and a 2.09 ERA in 65 appearances.

After seven seasons in a St. Louis uniform, Lindy was traded to the Cubs in October 1962. He went on to play with the Giants, Yankees and Royals, pitching in 987 games over the course of his more than two decade career, winning 141 and saving 172 contests.

He ranks 16th amongst major league pitchers in games played -- he was second at the time of his retirement. He is 17th all-time on the list of games finished and Lindy ranks 60th on the all-time saves list. 

McDaniel led the National League in saves three times. He was the first pitcher to win the Sporting News Reliever of the Year Award in 1960, when he was 12-2 with 22 saves and a 1.29 ERA, the first of two times he earned the honor.