After finishing 8th in 1967 and 7th in 1968, the Dodgers looked to improve in 1969 with the addition of youngsters Ted Sizemore, Bill Sudakis, and by obtaining Tom Haller in a trade. The Dodgers started fast and on June 10, they were in 2nd place at 31–22, 1 game back in a wild 5 team N.L. West race. On June 11, they reacquired Maury Wills in a trade, and obtained Manny Mota in the same deal for Ron Fairly and Paul Popovich. By July 16, they were in 1st place, and after beating the Mets on September 3, they were in second place, 1 game back. Centerfielder Willie Davis had just extended his club record 31 game hitting streak. They headed to San Diego to face the expansion Padres in a 4 game series and disaster struck. They scored 4 runs in 4 games, lost 4 in a row, and Davis had his hitting streak stopped in the first game. They left San Diego in 4th place, still only 2½ games out. They rebounded somewhat, and when they beat the Atlanta Braves on September 18, they were one-half game behind co-leaders Atlanta and the San Francisco Giants as they headed to San Francisco. The pressure of the season long 5 team pennant race got to this young team, as they lost 10 of their next 11 games, ultimately finishing 85–77, 8 games behind division winning Atlanta.
This was the fifth year of a Major League Baseball Draft. The Dodgers drafted 47 players in the June draft and 11 in the January draft.
The Dodgers first round selection in the June draft, High School Catcher Terry McDermott did make it to the Majors, in 1972, but played only 9 games.
The only player from this draft class who made any impact in the Majors was Lee Lacy, who was drafted twice this year... as a third baseman in the January draft and as a pitcher in the June draft. He was primarily an outfielder in the Majors, and played through 1987 with the Dodgers, Braves, Pirates and Orioles.