The 1969 American League Championship Series was the first ALCS held after Major League Baseball adopted the two-division format that season. It featured the Baltimore Orioles vs. the Minnesota Twins, with the Orioles winning the series 3–0 and advancing to the 1969 World Series, where they would lose to the New York Mets in five games. The Orioles and Twins would meet again the following year, with similar results.
This was the first of three straight appearances in the ALCS for the Orioles.
|1969 American League Championship Series|
|Umpires||Nestor Chylak, Ed Runge, Frank Umont, Bob Stewart, Johnny Rice, Red Flaherty|
WJZ-TV (Orioles' broadcast)
WTCN-TV (Twins' broadcast)
|TV announcers||NBC: Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek (Game 1); Jim Simpson and Sandy Koufax (Game 3)|
(NBC did not televise Game 2 due to conflicts with its AFL coverage.)
WJZ-TV: Chuck Thompson, Bill O'Donnell, and Jim Karvellas
WTCN-TV: Herb Carneal, Merle Harmon, and Halsey Hall
Baltimore won the series, 3–0.
|1||October 4||Minnesota Twins – 3, Baltimore Orioles – 4 (12 innings)||Memorial Stadium||3:29||39,324|
|2||October 5||Minnesota Twins – 0, Baltimore Orioles – 1 (11 innings)||Memorial Stadium||3:17||41,704|
|3||October 6||Baltimore Orioles – 11, Minnesota Twins – 2||Metropolitan Stadium||2:48||32,735|
|WP: Dick Hall (1–0) LP: Ron Perranoski (0–1)|
MIN: Tony Oliva (1)
BAL: Frank Robinson (1), Mark Belanger (1), Boog Powell (1)
In the opener, Frank Robinson's home run in the fourth put the Orioles up 1–0 off of 20-game winner Jim Perry, but the Twins tied the game in the fifth when Tony Oliva hit a leadoff double off of Mike Cuellar, went to third on Robinson's error and scored on Bob Allison's sacrifice fly. Mark Belanger's home run in the bottom of the inning put the Orioles back in front 2–1, but Oliva's two-run home run in the seventh after a walk put the Twins up 3–2. In the ninth inning, but Boog Powell tied the score with a home run over the right-field fence. Reliever Ron Perranoski, who worked in all three games, shut off Baltimore's offense at that point. Then, with two down in the 12th and Mark Belanger on third, Paul Blair stepped to the plate. Acting on his own, he bunted toward third. Neither third sacker Harmon Killebrew nor catcher John Roseboro could make the play as Belanger sped across the plate with the winning run. Dick Hall, who pitched two-thirds of an inning, was the winner. Perranoski did not allow a ball to leave the infield in the 12th, but was the loser nonetheless.
|WP: Dave McNally (1–0) LP: Dave Boswell (0–1)|
Winner of 15 games in a row during the season, Dave McNally won the second game of the playoffs on his own shutout pitching and Curt Motton's 11th inning pinch-hit single. It scored Powell from second base with the only run of the game. Dave Boswell was the losing pitcher. McNally yielded only three hits, none after the fourth inning.
|WP: Jim Palmer (1–0) LP: Bob Miller (0–1)|
BAL: Paul Blair (1)
The Orioles easily won this game and advanced to the World Series. Paul Blair, the swift center fielder who enjoyed a banner season, whacked five hits and drove in five runs. Left fielder Don Buford contributed four hits after going 0-for-9 in the first two games. Oriole Manager Earl Weaver employed simple strategy to deal with Minnesota's Harmon Killebrew, AL MVP winner that year: Walk him in any dangerous situation. The Killer got nothing good to swing at until Game 3 was on ice. Baltimore pitchers walked him five times in the first two games and pitched to him only when he could not wreck them with one swing.
Rod Carew and Tony Oliva were the Twins' other top hitters during 1969. Carew, AL batting champ, was a dud in the playoffs, going 1-for-14. Oliva hit safely in each of the three games, including a home run in the opener, but was guilty of some shoddy fielding in the third game.
The Twins struck first in the bottom of the first off of Jim Palmer on Rich Reese's RBI single after a two-out double and intentions walk, but Elrod Hendricks's two-run double after a double and error put the Orioles up 2–1 in the second. Two outs later, Don Buford's RBI single made it 3–0 Oriles and knock starter Bob Miller out of the game. Paul Blair's two-run double in the fourth off of Dick Woodson made it 5–1 Orioles. The Twins scored their last run of the series in the fifth when Harmon Killebrew doubled with two outs and scored on Reese's single. Frank Robinson's RBI single with two on off of Al Worthington made it 6–2 Orioles in the sixth. Blair's two-run home run in the eighth off of Dean Chance made it 8–2 Orioles. Next inning, Davey Johnson hit a leadoff single off of Chance, then scored on Hendricks's double off of Ron Perranoski while Hendricks himself scored on an error. Mark Belanger singled and scored on Blair's two-out double. Palmer pitched a scoreless ninth to finish the series.
This Monday game at Metropolitan Stadium forced the NFL's Minnesota Vikings to play their game against division rival Green Bay the previous day at the University of Minnesota's Memorial Stadium in Minneapolis. It was the first NFL game ever played in a Big Ten stadium. That same day, because the Atlanta Braves were hosting Game 2 of the NLCS, the Atlanta Falcons had to move their home game against the Baltimore Colts from Atlanta Stadium to Grant Field on the campus of Georgia Tech.
|Total attendance: 113,763 Average attendance: 37,921|
The 1969 Baltimore Orioles season was a season in American baseball. In the first season after the American League was split into two divisions, the Orioles won the first-ever American League East title, finishing first with a record of 109 wins and 53 losses, 19 games ahead of the runner-up Detroit Tigers.
After the regular season, the Orioles went on to the inaugural American League Championship Series, where they faced the Minnesota Twins. They swept the Twins in the 1969 ALCS, but lost the World Series to the upstart National League champion New York Mets in five games.
The team was managed by Earl Weaver, and played their home games at Memorial Stadium.1969 Minnesota Twins season
Led by new manager Billy Martin, the 1969 Minnesota Twins won the newly formed American League West with a 97–65 record, nine games over the second-place Oakland Athletics. The Twins were swept by the Baltimore Orioles in the first American League Championship Series.Billy Martin
Alfred Manuel Martin Jr. (May 16, 1928 – December 25, 1989), commonly called "Billy", was an American Major League Baseball second baseman and manager who, in addition to leading other teams, was five times the manager of the New York Yankees. First known as a scrappy infielder who made considerable contributions to the championship Yankee teams of the 1950s, he then built a reputation as a manager who would initially make bad teams good, before ultimately being fired amid dysfunction. In each of his stints with the Yankees he managed them to winning records before being fired by team owner George Steinbrenner or resigning under fire, usually amid a well-publicized scandal such as Martin's involvement in an alcohol-fueled fight.
Martin was born in a working-class section of Berkeley, California. His skill as a baseball player gave him a route out of his home town. Signed by the Pacific Coast League Oakland Oaks, Martin learned much from Casey Stengel, the man who would manage him both in Oakland and in New York, and enjoyed a close relationship with him. Martin's spectacular catch of a wind-blown Jackie Robinson popup late in Game Seven of the 1952 World Series saved that series for the Yankees, and he was the hitting star of the 1953 World Series, earning the Most Valuable Player award in the Yankee victory. He missed most of two seasons, 1954 and 1955, after being drafted into the Army, and his abilities never fully returned; the Yankees traded him after a brawl at the Copacabana club in New York during the 1957 season. Martin bitterly resented being traded, and did not speak to Stengel for years, a time during which Martin completed his playing career, appearing with a series of also-ran baseball teams.
The last team for whom Martin played, the Minnesota Twins, gave him a job as a scout, and he spent most of the 1960s with them, becoming a coach in 1965. After a successful managerial debut with the Twins' top minor league affiliate, the Denver Bears, Martin was made Twins manager in 1969. He led the club to the American League West title, but was fired after the season. He then was hired by a declining Detroit Tigers franchise in 1971, and led the team to an American League East title in 1972 before being fired by the Tigers late in the 1973 season. He was quickly hired by the Texas Rangers, and turned them for a season (1974) into a winning team, but was fired amid conflict with ownership in 1975. He was almost immediately hired by the Yankees.
As Yankee manager, Martin led the team to consecutive American League pennants in 1976 and 1977; the Yankees were swept in the 1976 World Series by the Cincinnati Reds but triumphed over the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games in the 1977 World Series. The 1977 season saw season-long conflict between Martin and Steinbrenner, as well as between the manager and Yankee slugger Reggie Jackson, including a near brawl between the two in the dugout on national television, but culminated in Martin's only world championship as a manager. He was forced to resign midway through the 1978 season after saying of Jackson and Steinbrenner, "one's a born liar, and the other's convicted"; less than a week later, the news that he would return as manager in a future season was announced to a huge ovation from the Yankee Stadium crowd. He returned in 1979, but was fired at season's end by Steinbrenner. From 1980 to 1982, he managed the Oakland Athletics, earning a division title with an aggressive style of play known as "Billyball", but he was fired after the 1982 season. He was rehired by the Yankees, whom he managed three more times, each for a season or less and each ending in his firing by Steinbrenner. Martin died in an automobile accident in upstate New York on Christmas night, 1989, and is fondly remembered by many Yankee fans.Bob Miller (baseball, born 1939)
Robert Lane Miller (February 18, 1939 – August 6, 1993) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball.
Miller played for three World Series champions—the 1963 Los Angeles Dodgers, 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers and the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates—five league champions and four division winners, as well as for four teams that lost 100 or more games in a season.Miller played for ten teams during his major league career, tying a modern-day record (since 1900) with Dick Littlefield that has since been broken. He played with three teams in each of three seasons: the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs in 1970; the Cubs, San Diego Padres and Pittsburgh Pirates in 1971; and the Padres, Detroit Tigers and New York Mets in 1973.Steve Treder of Hardball Times described Miller as a "whatever-is-needed utility pitcher". Former teammate Roy Hartsfield, who managed the Toronto Blue Jays when Miller was the team's pitching coach, called him "The Christian", a nickname he earned "because he suffers so much", noting that Miller was a part-time reliever with a sore arm, but that "when we came up with some other sore arms on the staff he would come in and suffer a few innings."His 12 consecutive losses at the start of the 1962 season with the Mets stood as a club record until it was broken by Anthony Young in 1993.Bob Stewart (umpire)
Robert William Stewart (June 24, 1915 - December 20, 1981) was a professional baseball umpire who worked in the American League from 1958 to 1970. Stewart umpired 1,958 major league games in his 13-year career. He umpired in three World Series (1961, 1965 and 1970), two All-Star Games (1962 and 1969) and the 1969 American League Championship Series.Steward served as a police officer for the Woonsocket, Rhode Island Police Department from 1943 to 1945.Curt Motton
Curtell Howard Motton ( MOH-tən; September 24, 1940 – January 21, 2010) was an American Major League Baseball outfielder. Mainly a reserve left fielder and pinch hitter, he was with the Baltimore Orioles when they won three consecutive American League pennants and a World Series from 1969 to 1971. He was nicknamed Cuz (short for cousin) because of his outgoing manner.César Tovar
César Leonardo Tovar (July 3, 1940 – July 14, 1994), nicknamed "Pepito" and "Mr. Versatility," was a Venezuelan professional baseball player, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Minnesota Twins (1965–1972), Philadelphia Phillies (1973), Texas Rangers (1974–1975), Oakland Athletics (1975–1976), and New York Yankees (1976). Tovar was an extremely versatile player capable of playing various defensive positions on the field. In 1968, he became only the second player in MLB history to play all nine field positions during a single game, a feat first accomplished by Bert Campaneris, in 1965. Tovar also had a prolific career in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League (VPBL), where he played 26 seasons — second only to the 30 seasons played by Vic Davalillo.Dick Hall (baseball)
Richard Wallace Hall (born September 27, 1930) is an American former professional baseball pitcher and part-time outfielder, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1952–1957, 1959), Kansas City Athletics (1960), Baltimore Orioles (1961–1966, 1969–1971), and Philadelphia Phillies (1967–1968). He threw and batted right-handed.Harmon Killebrew
Harmon Clayton Killebrew, Jr.(; June 29, 1936 – May 17, 2011), nicknamed "The Killer" and "Hammerin' Harmon", was an American professional baseball first baseman, third baseman, and left fielder. During his 22-year career in Major League Baseball (MLB), primarily with the Minnesota Twins, Killebrew was a prolific power hitter who, at the time of his retirement, had the fourth most home runs in major league history. He was second only to Babe Ruth in American League (AL) home runs, and was the AL career leader in home runs by a right-handed batter . Killebrew was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984.
Killebrew was a stocky 5-foot-11-inch (180 cm) tall, 213-pound (97 kg) hitter with a compact swing that generated tremendous power. He became one of the AL's most feared power hitters of the 1960s, hitting 40 home runs in a season eight times. In 1965, he played in the World Series with the Twins, who lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers. His finest season was 1969, when he hit 49 home runs, recorded 140 runs batted in (RBIs), and won the AL Most Valuable Player Award. Killebrew led the league six times in home runs and three times in RBIs, and was named to thirteen All-Star teams.
With quick hands and exceptional upper body strength, Killebrew was known not just for the frequency of his home runs but also for their distance. He hit the longest measured home runs at Minnesota's Metropolitan Stadium, 520 ft (158 m), and Baltimore's Memorial Stadium, 471 ft (144 m), and was the first of just four batters to hit a baseball over the left field roof at Detroit's Tiger Stadium. Despite his nicknames and his powerful style of play, Killebrew was considered by his colleagues to be a quiet, kind man. Asked once what hobbies he had, Killebrew replied, "Just washing the dishes, I guess."After retiring from baseball, Killebrew became a television broadcaster for several baseball teams from 1976 to 1988, and also served as a hitting instructor for the Oakland Athletics.Marcelino López
Marcelino Pons López (September 23, 1943 – November 29, 2001) was a Major League Baseball pitcher. He was a member of the 1970 World Series Champion Baltimore Orioles.Memorial Stadium (University of Minnesota)
Memorial Stadium, also known as the "Brick House", was an outdoor athletic stadium in the north central United States, on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. It was the home of the Minnesota Golden Gophers football team for 58 seasons, from 1924 through 1981. Prior to 1924, the Gophers played at Northrop Field.
Starting in 1982, the Gophers played their home games in the new Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, and Memorial Stadium was demolished a decade later. After 27 seasons indoors, the Gophers returned to campus in 2009 at the new TCF Bank Stadium, a block from the site of Memorial Stadium.Ted Uhlaender
Theodore Otto Uhlaender (October 21, 1939 – February 12, 2009) was a Major League Baseball outfielder for the Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds from 1965–1972. He was also the father of Olympic women's skeleton competitor Katie Uhlaender.Signed by the Twins out of Baylor University in 1961, he made his major league debut four years later. He was ineligible for the 1965 World Series because his promotion occurred after the August 31 deadline. He became the team's starting center fielder for the next four seasons. Despite the 1968 campaign being totally dominated by pitchers, he managed to finish with a .283 batting average, fifth in the American League . He followed that up with his most productive season, establishing career highs with 152 games played, 93 runs scored, 151 hits and 62 runs batted in (RBI). His first playoff experience was in the 1969 American League Championship Series, with one hit in six at-bats.
He was traded along with Graig Nettles, Dean Chance and Bob Miller to the Indians for Luis Tiant and Stan Williams on December 10, 1969. He started in center in 1970, before being shifted to left field the next season.
After he was acquired by the Reds for Milt Wilcox on December 6, 1971, Uhlaender spent his last year as a player in the majors strictly as a reserve outfielder. He served as a pinch hitter during the postseason, going 1-for-2 in the National League Championship Series and getting a double out of four at-bats in the 1972 World Series.
Years after his playing career ended, Uhlaender returned to the Indians in 2000, spending two seasons as the first-base coach under manager Charlie Manuel. He was a scout for the San Francisco Giants from 2002 until learning he had multiple myeloma in 2008.Uhlaender died of a heart attack at his ranch in Atwood, Kansas on February 12, 2009, just before his daughter Katie finished second in the women's skeleton World Cup season finale at Utah Olympic Park. Uhlaender's wife, Karen, stated that Katie did not know he had died until after the competition was finished. In memory of her father, she wears around her neck his ring from the 1972 Cincinnati Reds season in which the Reds won the National League pennant.
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