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 when they won the World Series over the Baltimore Orioles. They played their home games at Shea Stadium and were 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. 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 finished 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]

1969 New York Mets
World Series Champions
National League Champions
NL East Champions
Major League affiliations
Location
Results
Record100–62 (.617)
Divisional place1st
Other information
Owner(s)Joan Whitney Payson
General manager(s)Johnny Murphy
Manager(s)Gil Hodges
Local televisionWOR-TV 9
(Lindsey Nelson, Bob Murphy, Ralph Kiner)
Local radioWJRZ–AM 970/WABC-FM 95.5
(Lindsey Nelson, Bob Murphy, Ralph Kiner)
< Previous season     Next season >

Offseason

Trades

Date
Details
December, 1968 Jerry Buchek traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Jim Cosman
December 2, 1968 Drafted Wayne Garrett from the Atlanta Braves in the 1968 rule 5 draft
Tommie Reynolds drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 1968 rule 5 draft
Juan Rios drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 1968 rule 5 draft
Bill Short drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 1968 rule 5 draft
February 5, 1969 Greg Goossen and cash traded to the Seattle Pilots for a player to be named later. Received Jim Gosger three months later to complete the trade.
June 13, 1969 Al Jackson sold to the Cincinnati Reds
June 15, 1969 Jay Carden, David Colon, Kevin Collins, Steve Renko, and a player to be named later traded to the Montreal Expos for Donn Clendenon. Terry Dailey is sent on May 16, 1970 to complete the trade.
August 12, 1969 Billy Sorrell sold to the Kansas City Royals
October 28, 1969 Ed Charles released

Spring training

The 1969 New York Mets held spring training at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Florida, for the 8th season.

Regular season

Shea Stadium 1969.jpeg
Shea Stadium prior to a game in September 1969.

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.

1969 was the first year of divisional baseball, precipitated by the expansion of each league from 10 to 12 teams. [3] The Kansas City Royals and Seattle Pilots joined the American League. The San Diego Padres and Montreal Expos joined the National League. Before 1969, the first place team in each league advanced directly to the World Series. Under the new structure, each league was divided into East and West divisions, each comprising six teams, with the divisional winners facing off in a best-of-five playoff for the right to represent their league in the World Series. The Mets were slotted in the National League Eastern Division, along with the Chicago Cubs, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the upstart Montreal Expos, and the St. Louis Cardinals, who had been World Champions in 1964 and 1967 and losers of the 1968 World Series. For the first time since joining the National League in 1962, the Mets could finish no lower than 6th. [4] The New York Times journalist, Joseph Durso, predicted the Mets would finish 4th in the East, ahead of the Pirates and the Expos. [5]

On Tuesday April 8, with 44,541 fans in attendance at Shea Stadium, the Mets and the Expos played the first international baseball game in major league baseball history. The Mets had lost seven straight opening day games since joining the national league in 1962. That dubious record reached eight when the Expos prevailed in a 11-10 slugfest, despite the Mets' scoring four runs with two down in the bottom of the ninth, highlighted by a pinch hit three-run homer by Duffy Dyer. Apparently, this was axiomatic Mets baseball, as one columnist described the Mets as "masters of the lingering death." [6]

The Mets took the next two games from the Expos, but then lost six of the following 7 games, bringing their record to 3-7. Another season of mediocrity seemed ordained. But after a 9-14 start, the Mets won 9 of their next 13 games, including consecutive shutouts in late April against the Cubs and Expos. When Tom Seaver shutout the Atlanta Braves 5-0 on May 21, the Mets were 18-18, their best start in franchise history. But the Mets lost their next five games, starting with a 15-3 drubbing from the Atlanta Braves, followed by a 3-game sweep by the Astros, who outscored the Mets 18-4, and finishing with a loss at Shea Stadium to the lowly Padres. [7] At the end of play on May 27, the Mets' record stood at 18-23. Then, in late May, the Mets reeled off a club-record 11 straight wins, which included three walk-off wins and dominant pitching, as the Mets pitching staff yielded a stingy 2-runs per game. Starting with their 42nd game, the Mets went 82–39 (a .678 winning percentage), including an astonishing 38-11 in their last 49 games. [8]

Despite that performance, the Mets suffered two mid-season three-game series sweeps at the hands of the Houston Astros, who manhandled the Mets all season, taking 10 of the 12 games the teams played. They were also no-hit by Bob Moose of the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 20, only five days after becoming the first major league team to strike out 19 times in a nine-inning game, a game they won, 4–3, on a pair of two-run home runs by Ron Swoboda, against the Cardinals' Steve Carlton.

Trailing the Chicago Cubs for much of the season, the Mets found themselves in third place, 10 games back, on August 14[9] but 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 18 game differential is one of the largest turnarounds in MLB history.

Season standings

National League East

NL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
New York Mets 100 62 0.617 52–30 48–32
Chicago Cubs 92 70 0.568 8 49–32 43–38
Pittsburgh Pirates 88 74 0.543 12 47–34 41–40
St. Louis Cardinals 87 75 0.537 13 42–38 45–37
Philadelphia Phillies 63 99 0.389 37 30–51 33–48
Montreal Expos 52 110 0.321 48 24–57 28–53

Record vs. opponents

Record Games Left
Opponent Home Road Total Home Road Total
NL East
Chicago Cubs 5–4 5–4 10–8
Montreal Expos 7–2 6–3 13–5
Philadelphia Phillies 5–4 7–2 12–6
Pittsburgh Pirates 4–5 6–3 10–8
St. Louis Cardinals 6–4 6–2 12–6
NL West
Atlanta Braves 4–2 4–2 8–4
Cincinnati Reds 3–3 3–3 6–6
Houston Astros 2–4 0–6 2–10
Los Angeles Dodgers 6–0 2–4 8–4
San Diego Padres 5–1 6–0 11–1
San Francisco Giants 5–1 3–3 8–4
Grand Totals 52–30 48–32 100–62
Month Games Won Lost Pct.
April 20 9 11 .450
May 24 12 12 .500
June 28 19 9 .679
July 27 15 12 .556
August 31 21 10 .677
September 30 23 7 .767
October 2 1 1 .500
Totals 162 100 62 .617

Schedule and results

Regular season

Legend
Mets win Mets loss All-Star Game Game postponed Clinched
"GB" legend
1st (NL East) Not in playoff berth Tied for 1st (NL East)

All times are EASTERN time

  • All games broadcast on WJRZ and METS RADIO NETWORK

Postseason

Legend
Mets win Mets loss

All times are EASTERN time

Attendance

Attendance Rank
2,175,373 1

Notable Achievements of 1969 Mets

  • The Mets pitching staff led the major leagues with 28 shutouts. To put that in context, in the past 100 years only the 1968 St. Louis Cardinals (30) had more shutouts than the 1969 Mets, and it's worth noting that the Cardinals accomplished that feat in what is widely regarded among baseball fans as "the year of the pitcher." Pitchers so dominated baseball in 1968 - the average MLB batting average was .237, 13 of the 20 teams had earned run averages below 3.00, and Carl Yastrzemski, who batted .301, was the only American League hitter with a .300 batting average - that Major League Baseball owners voted to lower the height of the pitching mound from 15 inches to 10 inches and reduce the size of the batters' strike zone. [10]
  • From September 5, 1969 through September 28, a span of 25 games, the Mets' pitchers combined for an astonishing 10 shutouts. Opponents scored an average of 1.84 runs per game during that span. If you exclude a Friday night double header on September 19th when the Pirates scored 8 runs in both games, the pitching staff yielded a meager 30 runs over 23 games. In the last 100 years, no pitching staff has thrown 10 shutouts over a 25-game span. [11]
  • The Mets were 41-23 in games decided by one run, a 64% winning percentage, which led the National League. Id.
  • Only the 1978 San Francisco Giants have exceeded the 64 one-run games the Mets played during 1969. The Mets were World Champions; the Giants didn't make the playoffs. [12]
  • Measured by traditional baseball metrics, the 1969 Mets are one of the two worst hitting teams to have won the World Series in the last 50 years, which makes their accomplishment even more remarkable. No World Champion during this 50-year span had a lower slugging percentage then the .351 posted by the Mets. The Mets' had an OPS of .663 in 1969. Since 1969, the only World Champion with a lower OPS is the 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers. [13][14]

Roster

1969 New York Mets
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders Manager

Coaches

The Final Out

With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, starting pitcher Jerry Koosman faced Orioles second baseman Davey Johnson (who later managed 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.[15]

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), who was their first base coach. Berra was 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.

Opening Day starters

Notable transactions

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 Jerry Grote 113 365 92 .252 6 40
1B Ed Kranepool 112 353 84 .238 11 49
2B Ken Boswell 102 362 101 .279 3 32
3B Wayne Garrett 124 400 87 .218 1 39
SS Bud Harrelson 123 395 98 .248 0 24
LF Cleon Jones 137 483 164 .340 12 75
CF Tommie Agee 149 565 153 .271 26 76
RF Ron 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
Art Shamsky 100 303 91 .300 14 47
Al Weis 103 247 53 .215 2 23
Rod Gaspar 118 215 49 .228 1 19
Bobby Pfeil 62 211 49 .232 0 10
Donn Clendenon 72 202 51 .252 12 37
J. C. Martin 66 177 37 .209 4 21
Ed Charles 61 169 35 .207 3 18
Amos Otis 48 93 14 .151 0 4
Duffy Dyer 29 74 19 .257 3 12
Kevin Collins 16 40 6 .150 1 2
Jim Gosger 10 15 2 .133 0 1
Bob 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
Gary Gentry 35 233.2 13 12 3.43 154
Tom Seaver 36 273.1 25 7 2.21 208
Jerry Koosman 32 241 17 9 2.28 180
Don Cardwell 30 152.1 8 10 3.01 60
Jim 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
Nolan Ryan 25 89.1 6 3 3.53 92
Jack 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
Ron Taylor 59 9 4 13 2.72 42
Tug McGraw 42 9 3 12 2.24 92
Cal Koonce 40 6 3 7 4.99 48
Al Jackson 9 1 0 0 10.64 10
Danny Frisella 3 0 0 0 7.71 5
Jesse Hudson 1 0 0 0 4.50 3
Bob Johnson 2 0 0 1 0.00 1
Les Rohr 1 0 0 0 20.25 0

NLCS

Game 1

Saturday, October 4, 1969, at Atlanta Stadium in Atlanta

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 5 0 9 10 1
Atlanta 0 1 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 5 10 2
WP: Tom Seaver (1–0)   LP: Phil Niekro (0–1)
Home runs:
NYM: None
ATL: Tony González (1), Hank Aaron (1)

Game 2

Sunday, October 5, 1969, at Atlanta Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 1 3 2 2 1 0 2 0 0 11 13 1
Atlanta 0 0 0 1 5 0 0 0 0 6 9 3
WP: Ron Taylor (1–0)   LP: Ron Reed (0–1)   Sv: Tug McGraw (1)
Home runs:
NYM: Tommie Agee (1), Ken Boswell (1), Cleon Jones (1)
ATL: Hank Aaron (2)

Game 3

Monday, October 6, 1969, at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Atlanta 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 4 8 1
New York 0 0 1 2 3 1 0 0 X 7 14 0
WP: Nolan Ryan (1–0)   LP: Pat Jarvis (0–1)
Home runs:
ATL: Hank Aaron (3), Orlando Cepeda (1)
NYM: Tommie Agee (2), Ken Boswell (2), Wayne Garrett (1)

World Series

Game 1

Saturday, October 11, 1969, at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 6 1
Baltimore 1 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 X 4 6 0
WP: Mike Cuellar (1–0)   LP: Tom Seaver (0–1)
Home runs:
NYM: None
BAL: Don Buford (1)

Game 2

Sunday, October 12, 1969, at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 6 0
Baltimore 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 0
WP: Jerry Koosman (1–0)   LP: Dave McNally (0–1)   Sv: Ron Taylor (1)
Home runs:
NYM: Donn Clendenon (1)
BAL: None

Game 3

Tuesday, October 14, 1969, at Shea Stadium in Flushing, Queens, New York

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Baltimore 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 1
New York 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 X 5 6 0
WP: Gary Gentry (1–0)   LP: Jim Palmer (0–1)   Sv: Nolan Ryan (1)
Home runs:
BAL: None
NYM: Tommie Agee (1), Ed Kranepool (1)

Game 4

Wednesday, October 15, 1969, at Shea Stadium in Flushing, Queens, New York

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Baltimore 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 6 1
New York 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 10 1
WP: Tom Seaver (1–1)   LP: Dick Hall (0–1)
Home runs:
BAL: None
NYM: Donn Clendenon (2)

Game 5

Thursday, October 16, 1969, at Shea Stadium in Flushing, Queens, New York

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Baltimore 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 5 2
New York 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 2 X 5 7 0
WP: Jerry Koosman (2–0)   LP: Eddie Watt (0–1)
Home runs:
BAL: Dave McNally (1), Frank Robinson (1)
NYM: Donn Clendenon (3), Al Weis (1)

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, New York, 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".

In the TV show Growing Pains, the family's name was the Seavers and their neighbors were the Koosmans.

Awards and honors

Awards

Nolan Ryan rings
Nolan Ryan's 1969 championship ring on display at the Nolan Ryan Exhibit Center
Regular Season
Player
Award
Al Weis Babe Ruth Award
Tom Seaver National League Cy Young Award
Associated Press Athlete of the Year[18]
Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year
Playoffs
Player
Award
Donn Clendenon World Series Most Valuable Player Award
Regular Season
Manager
Award
Gil Hodges Associated Press NL Manager of the Year

Records

Player Record (Amount) Achieved

Batting Feats

Regular Season
Player Feats Reached
Postseason
Player Feats Reached

Pitching Feats

Regular Season
Player Feats Reached
Postseason
Player Feats Reached

Batting Milestones

Regular Season
Player Milestone Reached
Postseason
Player Milestone Reached

Pitching Milestones

Regular Season
Player Milestone Reached
Postseason
Player Milestone Reached

40th Major League Baseball All-Star Game

Outfielders

Pos # Player League AB H RBI
LF 21 Cleon Jones National League
Starter
4 2 0

Pitchers

# Player League IP SO
36 Jerry Koosman National League 1.2 1
41 Tom Seaver National League Did not pitch

Draft

Date Round Pick Player Position Hometown/School
June 5, 1969 1 4 Randy Sterling RHP Key West, Florida
2 28 Joe Nolan C St. Louis, Missouri

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Tidewater Tides International League Clyde McCullough
AA Memphis Blues Texas League Pete Pavlick, John Antonelli
and Roy McMillan
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 [19]

Notes

  1. ^ "Seaver, Ryan and Koosman highlight Miracle Mets gathering to celebrate 40th anniversary of 1969 World Series Championship - mets.com: Official Info". mlb.com.
  2. ^ Don Bosch at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ /New York Times, Sunday April 6, 1969
  4. ^ Id.
  5. ^ Id.
  6. ^ Joseph Durso, New York Times, April 9, 1969
  7. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYM/1969-schedule-scores.shtml
  8. ^ Id.
  9. ^ "Events of Wednesday, August 13, 1969". www.retrosheet.org.
  10. ^ See, for example, "'The Year of the Pitcher,' Bob Gibson, Denny McLain, and the end of Baseball's Golden Age," written by Sridhar Pappu and published in 2017.
  11. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYM/1969-schedule-scores.shtml
  12. ^ https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/sports/mlb/mariners/2018/06/18/mariners-have-been-one-run-wonders-season/712574002/
  13. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL/1969-standard-batting.shtml
  14. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL/1988.shtml
  15. ^ snarfmatic (March 16, 2011). "New York Mets Win 1969 World Series" – via YouTube.
  16. ^ Al Jackson at Baseball Reference
  17. ^ Donn Clendenon at Baseball Reference
  18. ^ "Associated Press Athlete of the Year (male)". www.nndb.com.
  19. ^ Johnson, Lloyd; Wolff, Miles, eds. (1997). The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (2nd ed.). Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America. ISBN 978-0-9637189-8-3.

External links

1969 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1969 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Reds finishing in third place in the newly established National League West, four games behind the NL West champion Atlanta Braves. The Reds were managed by Dave Bristol, and played their home games at Crosley Field, which was in its final full season of operation, before moving into their new facility in the middle of the following season.

Donn Clendenon

Donn Alvin Clendenon (July 15, 1935 – September 17, 2005) was a Major League Baseball first baseman. He is best remembered as the World Series MVP for the 1969 "Amazin' Mets."

1969 Regular Season Game Log (100–62) (Home: 52–30; Road: 48–32)
1969 Postseason Game Log
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