The Texas church elder was a pioneering reliever for the Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, Yankees and Royals.
By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle
When Joe Chesser was 9 years old, his family attended church with Lindy McDaniel, a young pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals.
One Sunday, Chesser brought a baseball to worship at the West End Church of Christ in Wellston, Mo., just outside St. Louis. The boy gave the ball to McDaniel, then 21 and in his second full season with the National League team.
The year was 1957.
“He had the entire St. Louis Cardinals team autograph it for me,” recalled Chesser, now 72 and an elder and preacher for the Fruitland Church of Christ in Jackson, Mo., about 100 miles south of St. Louis.
Chesser still has that baseball.
Some of the autographs have faded. But others remain visible, including Stan Musial, Hoyt Wilhelm, Alvin Dark, Wally Moon, Dick Schofield, “Vinegar Bend” Mizell and Von McDaniel, one of Lindy’s two pitcher brothers.
“To me, the most important thing about Lindy McDaniel was not his baseball career, although playing for the Cardinals, my favorite baseball team, is great,” said Chesser, who remembers watching McDaniel pitch at St. Louis’ old Sportsman’s Park. “What I admire most about Lindy is his love for the Lord and his desire to share the Good News with the lost.”
This story appears in the August edition of The Christian Chronicle.