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1969 New York Mets season

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Title: 1969 New York Mets season  
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Subject: Atlanta Braves, History of baseball in the United States, National League Championship Series, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, Montreal Expos, New York Mets, Major League Baseball, Nolan Ryan, Wiping
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1969 New York Mets season

The 1969 New York Mets season was the team's eighth as a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise and culminated with them winning the World Series over the Baltimore Orioles. They played their home games at Shea Stadium. The team was managed by Gil Hodges. The team is often referred to as the "Amazin' Mets" (a nickname coined by Casey Stengel, who managed the team from their inaugural season to 1965) or the "Miracle Mets".

The 1969 season was the first season of divisional play in Major League Baseball. The Mets were assigned to the newly created National League East division. In their seven previous seasons, the Mets had never finished higher than ninth place in the ten-team National League and had never had a winning season. In fact, they lost at least one hundred games in five of the seasons. However, they overcame mid-season difficulties while the division leaders for much of the season, the Chicago Cubs, suffered a late-season collapse. The Mets would finish 100–62, eight games ahead of the Cubs. The Mets went on to defeat the National League West champion Atlanta Braves three games to none in the inaugural National League Championship Series and went on to defeat the American League champion Baltimore Orioles in five games. First baseman Donn Clendenon was named the series' most valuable player on the strength of his .357 batting average, three home runs, and four runs batted in.

On Saturday, August 22, 2009, many of the surviving members of the 1969 championship team reunited at the New York Mets' present park, Citi Field.[1]

Regular season

The Mets had never finished higher than ninth place in a ten-team league in their first seven seasons. As an expansion team, they went 40–120 in 1962, the most losses by an MLB team in one season in the 20th century, and the 1962 Mets' .250 winning percentage was higher than only the .248 posted by the 1935 Boston Braves.

The Mets never had been over .500 after the ninth game of any season. Seven years after their disastrous inaugural season, "The Amazin' Mets" (as nicknamed by previous manager Casey Stengel) won the World Series, the first expansion team to do so.

With great pitching and decent defense, but not much offense, the Mets were an uninspired 18–23 through their first 41 games. They then reeled off a club-record 11 straight wins, equaled on several occasions. Starting with their 42nd game, the Mets went 82–39, an impressive .678 winning percentage, the rest of the season.

Despite that performance, the Mets suffered two mid-season three-game series sweeps at the hands of the Houston Astros, and were also no-hit by Bob Moose of the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 20, five days after becoming the first major league team to strike out 19 times in a nine-inning game, which they won, 4–3, on a pair of two-run home runs by Ron Swoboda, against the Cardinals' Steve Carlton.

In second place most of the season behind the Chicago Cubs—who were having an unusually good season themselves—the Mets were in third place, 10 games back, on August 13th. They won 14 of their last 17 games during August, and 24 of their 32 games during September and October, to surge past the Cubs, finishing 100–62, eight games ahead of the Cubs. That 17 game differential is one of the largest turnarounds in MLB history.

The Final Out

With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, starting pitcher Jerry Koosman faced Orioles second baseman Davey Johnson (who, ironically, would later manage the Mets to their second World Series championship in 1986). After taking a pitch of two balls and one strike, Johnson hit a fly-ball out to left field which was caught by Cleon Jones.[2]

Hall of Fame members who played in the 1969 World Series

Three future Hall of Fame members were on the Mets' roster: pitcher Tom Seaver (who won twenty-five games en route to winning the Cy Young Award), a young Nolan Ryan (playing in his third season), and New York Yankees legend Yogi Berra (who briefly played for the Mets in 1965) was their first base coach. Berra would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972, Seaver in 1992, and Ryan in 1999.

The Baltimore Orioles boasted four future Hall of Famers on their roster: pitcher Jim Palmer, outfielder Frank Robinson, third baseman Brooks Robinson, and manager Earl Weaver.

Season standings

NL East W L Pct. GB
New York Mets 100 62 .617 --
Chicago Cubs 92 70 .568 8
Pittsburgh Pirates 88 74 .543 12
St. Louis Cardinals 87 75 .537 13
Philadelphia Phillies 63 99 .389 37
Montreal Expos 52 110 .321 48

Opening Day starters

Notable transactions

Roster

1969 New York Mets
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders Manager

Coaches

Player stats

= Indicates team leader

Batting

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Grote, JerryJerry Grote 113 365 92 .252 6 40
1B Kranepool, EdEd Kranepool 112 353 84 .238 11 49
2B Boswell, KenKen Boswell 102 362 101 .279 3 32
3B Garrett, WayneWayne Garrett 124 400 87 .218 1 39
SS Harrelson, BudBud Harrelson 123 395 98 .248 0 24
LF Jones, CleonCleon Jones 137 483 164 .340 12 75
CF Agee, TommieTommie Agee 149 565 153 .271 26 76
RF Swoboda, RonRon Swoboda 109 327 77 .235 9 52

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Shamsky, ArtArt Shamsky 100 303 91 .300 14 47
Weis, AlAl Weis 103 247 53 .215 2 23
Gaspar, RodRod Gaspar 118 215 49 .228 1 19
Pfeil, BobbyBobby Pfeil 62 211 49 .232 0 10
Clendenon, DonnDonn Clendenon 72 202 51 .252 12 37
Martin, J. C.J. C. Martin 66 177 37 .209 4 21
Charles, EdEd Charles 61 169 35 .207 3 18
Otis, AmosAmos Otis 48 93 14 .151 0 4
Dyer, DuffyDuffy Dyer 29 74 19 .257 3 12
Collins, KevinKevin Collins 16 40 6 .150 1 2
Gosger, JimJim Gosger 10 15 2 .133 0 1
Heise, BobBob Heise 4 10 3 .300 0 0

Pitching

Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Gentry, GaryGary Gentry 35 233.2 13 12 3.43 154
Seaver, TomTom Seaver 36 273.1 25 7 2.21 208
Koosman, JerryJerry Koosman 32 241 17 9 2.28 180
Cardwell, DonDon Cardwell 30 152.1 8 10 3.01 60
McAndrew, JimJim McAndrew 27 135 6 7 3.47 90

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Ryan, NolanNolan Ryan 25 89.1 6 3 3.53 92
Dilauro, JackJack Dilauro 23 63.2 1 4 2.40 27

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Taylor, RonRon Taylor 59 9 4 13 2.72 42
McGraw, TugTug McGraw 42 9 3 12 2.24 92
Koonce, CalCal Koonce 40 6 3 7 4.99 48
Jackson, AlAl Jackson 9 1 0 0 10.64 10
Frisella, DannyDanny Frisella 3 0 0 0 7.71 5
Hudson, JesseJesse Hudson 1 0 0 0 4.50 3
Johnson, BobBob Johnson 2 0 0 1 0.00 1
Rohr, LesLes Rohr 1 0 0 0 20.25 0

Postseason

NLCS

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(NYM-ATL)

Attendance
1 October 4 New York 9 Atlanta 5 1–0 50,122
2 October 5 New York 11 Atlanta 6 2–0 50,270
3 October 6 Atlanta 4 New York 7 3–0 53,195
NYM won 3, ATL won 0.

New York wins the National League Championship
and advance to the World Series

World Series

Main article: 1969 World Series

NL New York Mets (4) vs. AL Baltimore Orioles (1)

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance
1 October 11 New York Mets: 1, Baltimore Orioles: 4 Memorial Stadium 2:13 50,429[5]
2 October 12 New York Mets: 2, Baltimore Orioles: 1 Memorial Stadium 2:20 50,850[6] 
3 October 14 Baltimore Orioles: 0, New York Mets: 5 Shea Stadium 2:23 56,335[7] 
4 October 15 Baltimore Orioles: 1, New York Mets: 2 (10 innings) Shea Stadium 2:33 57,367[8] 
5 October 16 Baltimore Orioles: 3, New York Mets: 5 Shea Stadium 2:14 57,397[9]

In popular culture

In the movie Oh, God!, God, as played by George Burns, explains to John Denver that "the last miracle I performed was the 1969 Mets."

Part of the movie Frequency is set in Queens, NY in 1969, as firefighter and avid Mets fan Frank Sullivan (Dennis Quaid) and his family follow the "Amazin's" throughout the World Series.

In Moonlighting, Season 2, Episode 13, "In God We Strongly Suspect", when David is attempting to define the parameters of Maddie's skepticism and atheism by inviting her to provide logical explanations for various phenomena seemingly beyond man's understanding, he mentions the "'69 Mets" which she immediately dismisses as "a myth and a hoax".

In his song "Faith and Fear in Flushing Meadows", twee/folk artist Harry Breitner makes mention of Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman.

In the TV sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond episode "Big Shots", Ray and Robert visit the Baseball Hall of Fame to meet members of the '69 Mets.

In the film Men in Black 3, set shortly before the Apollo 11 launch in July 1969, Griffin, an alien from the fifth dimension who can see the future, says the Mets' title is his favorite human history moment for "all the improbabilities that helped".

Awards and honors

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Tidewater Tides International League Clyde McCullough
AA Memphis Blues Texas League Pete Pavlick and John Antonelli
A Visalia Mets California League Roy McMillan, Chuck Estrada and Harry Minor
A Pompano Beach Mets Florida State League Joe Frazier
Rookie Marion Mets Appalachian League Jack Cassini

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Memphis [11]

Notes

External links

  • 1969 New York Mets
  • 1969 New York Mets team page at www.baseball-almanac.com
  • 1969 - New York Mets Win Their First World Series A report from K.C. Connors of WCBS Newsradio 880 (WCBS-AM New York) Part of WCBS 880's celebration of 40 years of newsradio
  • Life magazine
Preceded by
First Season
NL East Championship Season
1969
Succeeded by
Pittsburgh Pirates
1970
Preceded by
St. Louis Cardinals
1968
National League Championship Season
1969
Succeeded by
Cincinnati Reds
1970

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