1969 World Series

The 1969 World Series was played between the New York Mets and the Baltimore Orioles, with the Mets prevailing in five games to accomplish one of the greatest upsets in Series history,[1] as that particular Orioles squad was considered to be one of the finest ever. The World Series win earned the team the sobriquet "Miracle Mets", as they had risen from the depths of mediocrity (the 1969 team had the first winning record in Mets history).

The Mets became the first expansion team to win a division title, a pennant, and the World Series, winning in their eighth year of existence. Two teams later surpassed that, as the Florida Marlins won the 1997 World Series in their fifth year (also becoming the first wild card team to win a World Series) and the Arizona Diamondbacks won the 2001 World Series in their fourth year of play. This was the first World Series since 1954 to have games played in New York that didn't involve the New York Yankees; it was also the first World Series in which neither the New York Giants nor Brooklyn Dodgers (as both teams had moved to California in 1958) represented New York on the National League side.

1969 World Series
Team (Wins) Manager(s) Season
New York Mets (4) Gil Hodges 100–62, .617, GA: 8
Baltimore Orioles (1) Earl Weaver 109–53, .673, GA: 19
DatesOctober 11–16
MVPDonn Clendenon (New York)
UmpiresHank Soar (AL), Frank Secory (NL), Larry Napp (AL), Shag Crawford (NL), Lou DiMuro (AL), Lee Weyer (NL)
Hall of FamersMets: Yogi Berra (coach), Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan
Orioles: Earl Weaver (manager), Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson
ALCSBaltimore Orioles over Minnesota Twins (3–0)
NLCSNew York Mets over Atlanta Braves (3–0)
Broadcast
TelevisionNBC
TV announcersCurt Gowdy, Bill O'Donnell (Games 1–2) and Lindsey Nelson (Games 3–5)
RadioNBC
Radio announcersJim Simpson, Ralph Kiner (Games 1–2) and Bill O'Donnell (Games 3–5)
World Series

Route to the World Series

New York Mets

The New York Mets, who had never finished higher than ninth place (next-to-last) nor won more than 73 games in a season since joining the National League in 1962, were not highly regarded before the 1969 season started. In fact, the best that could be said for them was that because the National League was being split into two divisions that year (as was the American League), the Mets were guaranteed to finish no lower than sixth place. The fact that the Mets began the season by losing 11–10 to the then-expansion Montreal Expos seemed to confirm this. With three weeks to go in the season, the underdog Mets stormed past the Chicago Cubs, who had led the Eastern Division for most of the season, winning 38 of their final 49 games for a total of 100 wins and capturing their first National League Eastern Division crown. Third-year pitcher Tom Seaver won a major-league-leading 25 games en route to his first Cy Young Award; the other two top Mets starting pitchers, Jerry Koosman and rookie Gary Gentry, combined to win 30 more games. Outfielder Cleon Jones hit a (then) club-record .340 and finished third in the National League batting race, while his lifelong friend and outfield mate Tommie Agee hit 26 home runs and drove in 76 runs to lead the club; they were the only players on the team who garnered more than 400 at bats. Manager Gil Hodges employed a platoon system not unlike the Yankees of the Casey Stengel era, in which Ron Swoboda and Art Shamsky became a switch-hitting right fielder who hit 23 home runs and drove in 100 runs, and Ed Kranepool and Donn Clendenon added up to a switch-hitting first baseman who hit 23 more homers and knocked in another 95 runs. In the first League Championship Series, the normally light-hitting Mets, once again considered underdogs despite having a better regular-season record than their opponent, put on an power display by scoring 27 runs in sweeping the favored Atlanta Braves in three games.

Baltimore Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles, by contrast, were practically flawless and featured stars at almost every position. They breezed through the 1969 season, winning 109 games (until 1998 the most games won since the advent of divisional play) and brushing aside the Minnesota Twins three games to none in the ALCS to win their second pennant in four years. The Orioles were led by star sluggers Frank Robinson and Boog Powell, who each hit over 30 home runs and drove in over 100 runs; third baseman Brooks Robinson, perhaps the best-fielding hot-corner player in baseball history; and pitchers Mike Cuellar, Dave McNally and Jim Palmer, who combined for 63 victories.

Summary

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[2] 
2 October 12 New York Mets – 2, Baltimore Orioles – 1 Memorial Stadium 2:20 50,850[3] 
3 October 14 Baltimore Orioles – 0, New York Mets – 5 Shea Stadium 2:23 56,335[4] 
4 October 15 Baltimore Orioles – 1, New York Mets – 2 (10 innings) Shea Stadium 2:33 57,367[5] 
5 October 16 Baltimore Orioles – 3, New York Mets – 5 Shea Stadium 2:14 57,397[6]

Matchups

Game 1

Saturday, October 11, 1969 1:00 pm (ET) 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)

With this win, the Orioles looked to be proving all the prognosticators right, as it was a dominant performance. Don Buford hit Tom Seaver's second pitch of the game for a home run, which just evaded Ron Swoboda's leaping attempt at catching it. The O's then added three more runs in the fourth when, with two outs, Elrod Hendricks singled and Davey Johnson walked. Mark Belanger then singled in a run, followed by an RBI single by pitcher Mike Cuellar. Buford capped the inning off by doubling in Belanger.

The Mets got their run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by light-hitting Al Weis.

Despite the opening-game loss, nobody on the Mets seemed discouraged. Tom Seaver – the game's losing pitcher – said years later "I swear, we came into the clubhouse more confident than when we had left it. Somebody – I think it was Clendenon – yelled out, 'Dammit, we can beat these guys!' And we believed it. A team knows if they've been badly beaten or outplayed. And we felt we hadn't been. The feeling wasn't that we had lost, but Hey, we nearly won that game! We hadn't been more than a hit or two from turning it around. It hit us like a ton of bricks."[7]

Game 2

Sunday, October 12, 1969 2:00 pm (ET) 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

Mets pitcher Jerry Koosman pitched six innings of no-hit ball, trying to match Don Larsen's World Series no-hit feat. Donn Clendenon provided him a slim lead with a home run in the fourth.

However, Koosman lost both the no-hitter and the lead in the seventh as Paul Blair singled, stole second, and scored on a single by Brooks Robinson. But that was it for the Orioles' offense. The Mets pushed across a run in the top of the ninth on back-to-back-to-back singles by Ed Charles, Jerry Grote, and Al Weis, the latter scoring Charles.

Koosman had trouble finishing the game, as he issued two-out walks in the bottom of the ninth to Frank Robinson and Boog Powell. Ron Taylor came on to retire Brooks Robinson for the final out and earn the save.

Game 3

Tuesday, October 14, 1969 1:00 pm (ET) at Shea Stadium in 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)

Agee led off the game for the Mets with a home run off of Jim Palmer, then saved at least five runs with his defense. With two out in the fourth and Oriole runners on first and third, Agee raced to the 396-foot sign in left-center and made a backhanded running catch of a drive hit by Elrod Hendricks. In the seventh, the Orioles had the bases loaded with two out, but Agee made a headfirst diving grab of a line drive hit by Paul Blair in right-center.

Ed Kranepool added a home run and Jerry Grote an RBI double for the Mets, while Gary Gentry pitched ​6 23 shutout innings and helped his own cause with a second-inning two-run double. Nolan Ryan, making his only World Series appearance of his 27-year career, pitched the final ​2 13 innings (benefiting from Agee's second catch) and earned a save.

Game 4

Wednesday, October 15, 1969 1:00 pm (ET) at Shea Stadium in 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 4 was mired in controversy. Tom Seaver's photograph was used on some anti-war Moratorium Day literature being distributed outside Shea Stadium before the game, although the pitcher claimed that his picture was used without his knowledge or approval. A further controversy that day involved the flying of the American flag at Shea Stadium. New York City Mayor John Lindsay had ordered flags flown at half staff to observe the Moratorium Day and honor those that had died in Vietnam. Many were concerned, including 225 wounded servicemen who were attending the game, and Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn announced that the American flag would be flown at full staff at Shea for Game 4.[8]

Tom Seaver atoned for his Game 1 ineffectiveness by shutting the Orioles out through eight innings. Once again, Donn Clendenon provided the lead with a homer in the second. In the third inning, after arguing ball-strike calls too strenuously with plate umpire Shag Crawford, Earl Weaver of the Orioles became the first manager since 1935 to be ejected from a World Series game.

In the top of the ninth, Seaver ran into trouble. Frank Robinson and Boog Powell hit back-to-back one-out singles to put runners on first and third. Brooks Robinson then hit a sinking line drive towards right that Mets right fielder Ron Swoboda dove for and caught just inches off the ground. Frank Robinson tagged and scored, but Swoboda's heroics kept the Orioles from possibly taking the lead. Elrod Hendricks then flew out to Swoboda to end the inning.

In the bottom of the tenth, Jerry Grote led off by blooping a double to left. Al Weis was intentionally walked to set up a force play and get to the pitcher's spot in the lineup. Mets manager Gil Hodges sent J. C. Martin up to hit for Seaver. Martin laid down a sacrifice bunt, but Orioles reliever Pete Richert hit Martin in the wrist with his throw to first, and the ball went down the right field line. Rod Gaspar, running for Grote, came around to score the winning run. (Contrary to what the now-defunct SportsChannel claimed, it was Gaspar, not Grote, who scored that winning run.)

Replays showed Martin running inside the first-base line, which appeared to hinder Richert's ability to make a good throw and Orioles second baseman Davey Johnson from catching it. Subsequent controversy focused on MLB rule 6.05 (k),[9] which says that a batter shall be out—with the ball dead and the runners returned to their original bases—if "...In running the last half of the distance from home base to first base, while the ball is being fielded to first base, he runs outside (to the right of) the three-foot line, or inside (to the left of) the foul line, and in the umpire's judgment in so doing interferes with the fielder taking the throw at first base."

The umpires' judgment was that Martin did not interfere.

Game 5

Thursday, October 16, 1969 1:00 pm (ET) at Shea Stadium in 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)

Dave McNally shut out the Mets through five innings and helped himself with a two-run homer in the third inning. Frank Robinson homered in the inning as well, and the Orioles looked to be cruising with a 3–0 lead.

The Mets, however, benefitted from two questionable umpire's calls. In the top of the sixth inning, Mets starting pitcher Jerry Koosman appeared to have hit Frank Robinson with a pitch, but plate umpire Lou DiMuro ruled that the pitch hit his bat before hitting him and denied him first base. Replays showed, however, that Robinson was indeed hit first—the ball struck him on the hip, then bounced up and hit his bat.

In the bottom of the sixth, McNally bounced a pitch that appeared to have hit Mets left fielder Cleon Jones on the foot, then bounced into the Mets' dugout. McNally and the Orioles claimed the ball hit the dirt and not Jones, but Mets manager Gil Hodges showed the ball to DiMuro, who found a spot of shoe polish on the ball and awarded Jones first base. McNally then gave up Series MVP Donn Clendenon's third homer of the series (a record for a five-game World Series that was tied by the Phillies' Ryan Howard in the 2008 Classic and by Boston’s Steve Pearce in the 2018 Series) to cut the lead to 3–2.

However, the renowned "shoe polish" incident may not be such a simple, straightforward matter. On August 22, 2009, at the 40th anniversary celebration of the Mets' 1969 Championship, held at their new stadium, Citi Field, Jerry Koosman stated in several media interviews[10] that, in actuality, Hodges had instructed him to rub the ball on his shoe, which he did, and after that Hodges showed the ball to the umpire. Koosman's claim doesn't necessarily mean that the ball didn't strike Jones on the foot, nor does it even mean that the polish on the ball seen by the umpire was put there by Koosman—it's certainly conceivable that there was already a genuine spot of polish on the ball, which easily could have escaped Koosman's notice as he hastily created the fraudulent one. In any case, Koosman's allegation at the very least adds an intriguing layer of uncertainty and possible chicanery to an already legendary event. Koosman was known for his sense of humor, and his love of practical jokes when he was an active player. Therefore, his claim of having scuffed the ball against his own shoe could be a ruse. Besides, there are other stories which have been told about that incident, by other players who were in the Mets dugout that day. One of those stories comes from Ron Swoboda, who said during an interview on the Mets 1986 25th Anniversary video, that when the ball came bounding into the Mets dugout, it hit an open ball bag under the bench, and several batting / infield practice balls came spilling out on the dugout floor. According to Swoboda, you couldn't distinguish the actual game ball from any of the ones that spilled out of the bag. Hodges quickly looked down, grabbed a ball that had a black streak on it, and walked it out to the home plate umpire, who then awarded first base to Jones. In any case, this incident provided baseball with yet another entertaining legend, about which the absolute truth will probably never be known.

The Mets then tied the score in the seventh on a home run by the unheralded and light-hitting Al Weis. Weis hit only seven home runs in his big league career; this was the only home run he ever hit at Shea Stadium. Weis led all batters in the series with a .455 average.

The Mets' winning runs scored in the eighth as Game 4 defensive hero Ron Swoboda doubled in Jones with the go-ahead run. Swoboda then scored when Jerry Grote's grounder was mishandled by first baseman Boog Powell, whose throw to first was then dropped by pitcher Eddie Watt in an unusual double error. Jerry Koosman got the win, his second of the series. With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, Koosman faced Orioles second baseman Davey Johnson (who, coincidentally, 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.[11] After a shaky third inning, Koosman settled down to retire 19 of the next 21 batters he faced, giving up a single and a walk.

Karl Ehrhardt, a Mets fan known as "the sign man" at Shea Stadium, held up a sign that read There Are No Words soon after the final out was made. The sign made an appearance in the Series highlight film. Immediately following the victory, thousands of fans rushed onto the field and the Mets were forced to retreat to their locker room.[11] Bill Gleason, a sports columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, alleged that this feat would not repeated again until Disco Demolition Night,[12] an event which saw many people rush onto the playing field in Comiskey Park just before the second game of a doubleheader between the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers was scheduled to begin on July 12, 1979.[12]

In all four Mets victories, their starting first baseman hit a home run: Donn Clendenon in Games 2, 4 and 5, and Ed Kranepool in Game 3. The expression, "Good pitching defeats good hitting", was never more evident than in this World Series: Baltimore collected only 23 hits for a .146 batting average, both team lows for a 5-game series. After losing Game 1 in which the Orioles had only 6 hits, Baltimore only managed a .134 batting average (17-for-127) over the next 4 games. Boog Powell led the Orioles with five hits and a .263 average—but all were non-scoring singles (although one advanced Frank Robinson to third base to set up Swoboda's defensive heroics). Don Buford collected 2 hits in 4 at-bats in the opening game, including a leadoff home run against Tom Seaver, but went 0-for-16 over the next four games. Paul Blair went 2-for-20, Davey Johnson 1-for-16 , Frank Robinson 3-for-16, Brooks Robinson 1-for-19, and Mark Belanger 3-for-15. The Orioles offense only managed four extra-base hits off Mets pitching in the five-game series, all in the first and last games. The Mets won despite below-average performances from Jerry Grote, who went 4-for-19, Tommie Agee, who went 3-for-18, Cleon Jones, who went 3-for-19, Bud Harrelson, who went 3-for-17 and Ed Charles, who went 2-for-15.

Aftermath and legacy

The 1969 series was the second major upset by a New York team over a Baltimore team in a sport's championship event in 1969. Earlier in January, the Jets, led by Joe Namath, upset the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in the Super Bowl, which also aired on NBC. Both the Jets and Mets called Shea Stadium home at the time. In addition, the New York Knicks eliminated the Baltimore Bullets from the 1969 NBA Playoffs.

There are several direct connections between the two Mets World Championship teams of 1969 and 1986. Orioles second baseman Davey Johnson flied out to Cleon Jones for the last out of the 1969 World Series; Johnson later managed the 1986 Mets to their World Series title. The pitcher on the mound for the last out of the 1986 Series, Jesse Orosco, had been traded to the Mets for Jerry Koosman (the pitcher on the mound for the last out of the 1969 Series) after the 1978 season. 1969 Mets shortstop Bud Harrelson earned a second World Series ring as the club's third-base coach in 1986. However, Mets pitcher Tom Seaver was on the losing end in 1986, as a member of the Boston Red Sox. Also in 1986, the Mets' World Series championship was in conjunction with a Super Bowl win, this time by the New York Giants, who defeated the Denver Broncos, 39–20, to win Super Bowl XXI.

The Orioles repeated as AL East champs the next season, when they won 108 games, one fewer than the previous year. In the ALCS, they swept the Minnesota Twins for the second straight year to return to the World Series, this time, they were victorious in five games over the Cincinnati Reds.

Four years later, the Mets returned to the World Series despite an 82–79 record, but lost to the Oakland Athletics in seven games.

In a 1999 episode of Everybody Loves Raymond Big Shots, Ray and his older brother Robert travel to the National Baseball Hall of Fame to see a ceremony honoring the 1969 Mets. The episode ends with the brothers singing the Mets' signature song in the car.

This series is a major plot point in the 2000 film Frequency and is also a plot point in the 2012 movie Men in Black 3.

In a Batman '66 story that crosses over with the Legion of Super-Heroes, Egghead goes to the future and refuses to trust the future museums because they say the Mets win the 1969 World Series.

Composite box

1969 World Series (4–1): New York Mets (N.L.) over Baltimore Orioles (A.L.)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
New York Mets 1 3 0 1 0 3 2 3 1 1 15 35 2
Baltimore Orioles 1 0 3 3 0 0 1 0 1 0 9 23 4
Total attendance: 272,378   Average attendance: 54,476
Winning player's share: $18,338   Losing player's share: $14,904[13]

Broadcast coverage

NBC televised the Series, with Curt Gowdy sharing play-by-play commentary with Orioles announcer Bill O'Donnell (for the games in Baltimore) and Mets announcer Lindsey Nelson (for the games in New York). Tony Kubek served as field reporter and in-stands interviewer. Jim Simpson hosted pre-game coverage along with Sandy Koufax and Mickey Mantle. NBC Radio also broadcast the games, with Simpson splitting play-by-play with Mets announcer Ralph Kiner (for the games in Baltimore) and O'Donnell (for the games in New York).

Games 3, 4 and 5 of the 1969 Series are believed to be the oldest surviving color television broadcasts of World Series games (even though World Series telecasts have aired in color since 1955). These are master "truck feeds" preserved by NBC, which do not contain original commercials, but show a static image of the Shea Stadium field between innings. Also, the surviving copy of Game 5 as aired on MLB Network in late 2009 had noticeable drop-outs and tape-tracking errors for the first few innings. It is unknown if these artifacts derive from the original master-tape, or the copy used by MLB Network. All of Game 4, and part of Game 5 have been commercially released on DVD.

Games 1 and 2 only survive as black and white kinescopes preserved by the CBC, which aired the series in Canada using the NBC feeds. Copies of all five broadcasts circulate among collectors.

Notes

  1. ^ "Greatest Upsets In Sports History". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
  2. ^ "1969 World Series Game 1 – New York Mets vs. Baltimore Orioles". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  3. ^ "1969 World Series Game 2 – New York Mets vs. Baltimore Orioles". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  4. ^ "1969 World Series Game 3 – Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Mets". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  5. ^ "1969 World Series Game 4 – Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Mets". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  6. ^ "1969 World Series Game 5 – Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Mets". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  7. ^ Honig, Donald (1986). The New York Mets – The First Quarter Century. p. 61. ISBN 0-517-56218-9.
  8. ^ Tuite, James (October 16, 1969). "War Casualties Demand Full-Staff Flag at Shea". New York Times. p. 20.
  9. ^ "Official Rules: 6.00 The Batter". MLB.com. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
  10. ^ Golenbock, Peter. Amazin': The Miraculous History of New York's Most Beloved Baseball Team. p. 258.
  11. ^ a b New York Mets Win 1969 – YouTube
  12. ^ a b Disco Demolition – Thirty Years Ago! – YouTube
  13. ^ "World Series Gate Receipts and Player Shares". Baseball Almanac. Archived from the original on May 2, 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2009.

See also

References

  • Cohen, Richard M.; Neft, David S. (1990). The World Series: Complete Play-By-Play of Every Game, 1903–1989. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 326–329. ISBN 0-312-03960-3.
  • Reichler, Joseph (1982). The Baseball Encyclopedia (5th ed.). Macmillan Publishing. p. 2179. ISBN 0-02-579010-2.
  • Forman, Sean L. "1969 World Series". Baseball-Reference.com – Major League Statistics and Information. Archived from the original on December 17, 2007. Retrieved December 9, 2007.

External links

1969 American League Championship Series

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 Baltimore Orioles season

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 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.

Al Weis

Albert John Weis (born April 2, 1938) is a former Major League Baseball player. A light-hitting infielder with only seven career home runs, he is best remembered for a dramatic home run hit in game five of the 1969 World Series. He was a switch hitter until the end of the 1968 season, after which he batted exclusively right-handed.

Bill O'Donnell (sportscaster)

William "Bill" O'Donnell (June 4, 1926 – October 29, 1982) was an American sportscaster.

Cal Koonce

Calvin Lee Koonce (November 18, 1940 – October 28, 1993) was an American professional baseball player, a right-handed pitcher in the Major Leagues from 1962–71 for the Chicago Cubs, New York Mets and Boston Red Sox. Born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, he grew up in Hope Mills and attended Campbell University. Koonce stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighed 185 pounds (84 kg).

Koonce appeared in 334 Major League games pitched, all but 90 as a relief pitcher. He allowed 972 hits and 368 bases on balls in 971 innings pitched, with 504 strikeouts and 24 saves. He recorded 11 saves and a low 2.42 earned run average for the 1968 Mets, and was a member of the Mets' 1969 World Series championship team, but he was less effective during the regular campaign and did not appear in the postseason.

After retiring as an active player, he was head baseball coach of Campbell University, his alma mater, for seven seasons (1980–86), a scout for the Texas Rangers and a minor league executive. He died from lymphoma at age 52.

Cleon Jones

Cleon Joseph Jones (born August 4, 1942) is an American former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a left fielder. Jones played most of his career for the New York Mets and in 1969 caught the final out of the "Miracle Mets" World Series Championship over the Baltimore Orioles.

Don Cardwell

Donald Eugene Cardwell (December 7, 1935 – January 14, 2008) was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) right-handed pitcher who played for five National League (NL) teams from 1957 to 1970. He was the first pitcher in major league history to pitch a no-hitter in his first game after being traded. He pitched a no-hit, 4–0 winning game for the Chicago Cubs on May 15, 1960, just two days after being traded from the Philadelphia Phillies. After winning 15 games for the Cubs in 1961, he won 13 games twice for the Pittsburgh Pirates before helping the New York Mets win the 1969 World Series title.

Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Cardwell signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agent in 1954.

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."

Jack DiLauro

Jack Edward DiLauro (born May 3, 1943, in Akron, Ohio) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the 1969 World Series Champion New York Mets.

DiLauro started his professional baseball career by signing with the Detroit Tigers as an amateur free agent on January 1, 1963. He never played in the Major Leagues for the Tigers. On December 4, 1968, he was traded to the New York Mets in exchange for Hector Valle.In 1969, DiLauro pitched 4 games for the Mets AAA minor league affiliate, the Tidewater Tides. He was then promoted to the Mets and made his major league debut for the Mets on May 15, 1969, against the Atlanta Braves. In 1969, he pitched in 23 games, mostly in relief, and 63​2⁄3 innings for the Mets. He won 1 game against 4 losses with 1 save. The win, his first in the Major Leagues occurred on July 20 against the Montreal Expos. His ERA in 1969 was a solid 2.40, better than league average. The Mets won the World Series in 1969, but DiLauro did not pitch in the postseason.After the season, DiLauro was drafted from the Mets by the Houston Astros in the rule 5 draft. In 1970 DiLauro pitched in 42 games for the Astros, all in relief, pitching 33​2⁄3 innings. He had 1 win and 3 losses with 3 saves.He was sold by the Astros to the Hawaii Islanders, the San Diego Padres AAA team in the Pacific Coast League on March 15, 1971. In July 1971 he was traded with Hank McGraw (brother of DiLauro's former Mets teammate Tug McGraw) to the Atlanta Braves organization for Marv Staehle. But he never pitched in the major leagues after 1970.As of August 23, 2008 DiLauro's Mets ERA of 2.40 is 3rd best all-time among Mets pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched for the team, behind only Carlos Diaz and Billy Wagner.

Jerry Grote

Gerald Wayne Grote (born October 6, 1942) is an American former professional baseball player. He played the majority of his Major League Baseball career as a catcher for the New York Mets, catching every inning of the franchise's first two World Series appearances, and would appear in two more World Series for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was a two-time All-Star for the National League and is regarded as one of the best defensive catchers of his era.

Jerry Koosman

Jerome Martin Koosman (born December 23, 1942) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Mets, Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox, and Philadelphia Phillies between 1967 and 1985. Koosman is best known for being a member of the Miracle Mets team that won the 1969 World Series.

Karl Ehrhardt

Karl Ehrhardt (November 26, 1924 – February 5, 2008) was one of the New York Mets' most visible fans and an icon at Shea Stadium from its opening in 1964 through 1981. Known as the "Sign Man," Ehrhardt held up 20-by-26-inch black cardboard signs with sayings in big white (sometimes orange) upper-cased paper characters that reflected the Mets' performance on the field, and echoed the fans' sentiments off of it. He usually brought a portfolio holding about sixty of his 1,200 signs to the stadium, each of them with color-coded file tabs for different situations. He was always positioned in the field-level box seats on the third base side, wearing a black derby with a royal-blue-and-orange band around the bottom of the crown and the primary Mets logo on the front. Ehrhardt wasn't afraid to criticize the team's front office, once holding up a sign that said "WELCOME TO GRANT'S TOMB", referring to the team's miserable play and M. Donald Grant, the team's chairman of the board.

Ken Boswell

Kenneth George Boswell (February 23, 1946) is a former professional baseball player. He was a second baseman over parts of 11 seasons (1967–1977) with the New York Mets and Houston Astros. Boswell was a member of the 1969 World Series champion Mets. An alumnus of Sam Houston State University, for his career he hit .248 with 31 home runs and 244 runs batted in in 930 games.

Lou DiMuro

Louis John DiMuro (April 24, 1931 – June 7, 1982) was an American umpire in Major League Baseball who worked in the American League from 1963 until his death.

New York Mets

The New York Mets are an American professional baseball team based in the New York City borough of Queens. The Mets compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) East division. The Mets are one of two Major League clubs based in New York City; the other is the New York Yankees of the American League East.

One of baseball's first expansion teams, the Mets were founded in 1962 to replace New York's departed NL teams, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. The Mets' colors are composed of the Dodgers' blue and the Giants' orange, which also form the outer two bands of the New York City flag. During the 1962 and 1963 seasons, the Mets played their home games at the Polo Grounds. From 1964 to 2008, the Mets' home ballpark was Shea Stadium. In 2009, they moved into their current ballpark, Citi Field.In their 1962 inaugural season, the Mets posted a record of 40–120, the worst regular season record since MLB went to a 162-game schedule (two games were canceled). The team never finished better than second to last until the 1969 "Miracle Mets" beat the Baltimore Orioles in the 1969 World Series in what is considered one of the biggest upsets in World Series history. Since then, they have played in four additional World Series, including a dramatic run in 1973 that ended in a seven-game loss to the Oakland Athletics, a second championship in 1986 over the Boston Red Sox, a Subway Series loss against their cross-town rivals the New York Yankees in 2000, and a five-game loss to the Kansas City Royals in 2015.

The Mets qualified to play in the Major League Baseball postseason in 1988 and 2006, coming within one game of the World Series both years. After near-misses in 2007 and 2008, the Mets made the playoffs in 2015 for the first time in nine years, and won their first NL pennant in 15 years. The team again returned to the playoffs in 2016, this time with a wild card berth. This was the team's second back-to-back playoff appearance, the first occurring during the 1999 and 2000 seasons.

As of the end of the 2018 MLB season, the Mets overall win-loss record is 4362–4732, good for a .480 win percentage.

Ron Swoboda

Ronald Alan Swoboda (born June 30, 1944) is an American former professional baseball player. He played as an outfielder in Major League Baseball, most notably as a member of the 1969 "Miracle Mets".

Tom Seaver

George Thomas Seaver (born November 17, 1944), nicknamed Tom Terrific and The Franchise, is a retired American professional baseball pitcher. He pitched in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1967 to 1986 for the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, and Boston Red Sox. He played a role in the Mets' victory in the 1969 World Series.

With the Mets, Seaver won the National League (NL)'s Rookie of the Year Award in 1967, and won three NL Cy Young Awards as the league's best pitcher. He is a 12-time All-Star. Seaver is the Mets' all-time leader in wins, and he threw a no-hitter in 1978. During a 20-year MLB career, Seaver compiled 311 wins, 3,640 strikeouts, 61 shutouts and a 2.86 earned run average.

In 1992, Seaver was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the highest percentage of votes ever recorded at the time. He is one of two players wearing a New York Mets hat on his plaque in the Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the New York Mets Hall of Fame and the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. In 2019, the Mets renamed 126th Street in front of Citi Field to Seaver Way. The stadium's address is now 41 Seaver Way, a tribute to the No. 41 that Seaver wore during his career.

Tommie Agee

Tommie Lee Agee (August 9, 1942 – January 22, 2001) was a Major League Baseball center fielder. He is noted for making two of the greatest catches in World Series history, both of which took place in game three of the 1969 World Series.

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