On this date in 2010, in his 16th season in pro ball, at age 33, John Lindsey made his big league debut. The former Hattiesburg High slugger was announced as a pinch hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Then the San Diego Padres changed pitchers, and Lindsey was called back. Another hitter took the turn. Lindsey did get his long-awaited first at-bat the next day and popped up, again as a pinch hitter. He would get 11 more ABs that season, delivering one hit, but that would be his only fling in the majors. Though he never hit a home run in the big leagues, Lindsey belongs in the conversation about the best mashers Mississippi has produced, right there with Dave Parker, George Scott, Luke Easter and the like. The 6-foot-2, 255-pound Lindsey bashed 377 homers in pro ball, according to numbers from baseball-reference.com, over a 22-year career that ended in the Mexican Pacific League in 2016. He hit his first homer for Colorado’s rookie league team in 1995 at age 18 and his last long ball for Novojoa in the MPL at age 38.
John Lindsey, the legendary slugger from Hattiesburg, added to his career home run tally this month when he went deep for Navojoa in a Mexican Pacific League game. Lindsey, who turns 39 in January, has belted 377 homers as a pro: 46 in winter league play, 309 in the minor leagues and 22 more in independent ball. He did not homer in his 11-game MLB stint with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010. In 15 games this winter for Navojoa, the last on Dec. 17, Lindsey batted .145 with the one homer and six RBIs. He played 18 games for Tijuana in the Triple-A Mexican League last summer and last played in affiliated ball in 2013 with Detroit’s Triple-A Toledo club. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Lindsey has appeared in 2,277 pro games going back to 2005, with a .284 batting average, 1,215 runs and 1,536 RBIs.
Though he has no major league home runs to his credit, John Lindsey has to be regarded as one of the great sluggers Mississippi has ever produced. The Hattiesburg native, at age 37, has hit two home runs in seven games this winter for Navojoa in the Mexican Pacific League. He has 328 minor league homers on his ledger, which dates back to 1995, when he was drafted out of Hattiesburg High by Colorado. He’s not slowing down: He hit 33 bombs (along with a .306 average and 99 RBIs) in the Triple-A caliber Mexican League in 2014. Lindsey, a 6-foot-2, 255-pound right-handed first baseman/DH, has played for at least 20 different teams over 20 years in pro ball, not including winter league assignments. He has played in 1,984 minor league games, with 7,044 at-bats and 1,360 RBIs. He got one hit (a single) in 13 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010, his only MLB stint. He really ought to be considered for the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. P.S. The all-time leader in minor league homers among Mississippi natives is Jack Pierce, a Laurel native who played parts of three MLB seasons in the 1970s. Pierce, who died in 2012, belted 395 minor league bombs, most of those in the Mexican League, including 54 in 1986. Pierce is in the Mexican League Hall of Fame.