1969 in baseball

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The following are the baseball events of the year 1969 throughout the world.  

Expansion[edit]

Four expansion teams joined Major League Baseball for this season: the San Diego Padres, the Kansas City Royals, the Seattle Pilots, and the first MLB team in Canada, the Montreal Expos. To accommodate the additional teams, the two leagues were split into two divisions of East and West. For the first time, extra post-season playoff series were added prior to the World Series, at this juncture best-of-five series between the East and West division leaders in each league.

Champions[edit]

Major League Baseball[edit]

The most notable part of the 1969 season were the Miracle Mets

  League Championship Series NBC World Series NBC
                 
East  Baltimore Orioles 3  
West  Minnesota Twins 0  
    AL  Baltimore Orioles 1
  NL  New York Mets 4
East  New York Mets 3
West  Atlanta Braves 0  

Other champions[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

MLB statistical leaders[edit]

  American League National League
Type Name Stat Name Stat
AVG Rod Carew MIN .332 Pete Rose CIN .348
HR Harmon Killebrew MIN 49 Willie McCovey SFG 45
RBI Harmon Killebrew MIN 140 Willie McCovey SFG 126
Wins Denny McLain DET 24 Tom Seaver NYM 25
ERA Dick Bosman WAS 2.19 Juan Marichal SFG 2.10
Ks Sam McDowell CLE 279 Fergie Jenkins CHC 273

The save is introduced as an official statistic this year. Ron Perranoski leads the majors with 31.[1]

Major league baseball final standings[edit]

American League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win % GB
East Division
1st Baltimore Orioles 109 53 .673    --
2nd Detroit Tigers 90 72 .566   19.0
3rd Boston Red Sox 87 75 .537   22.0
4th Washington Senators 86 76 .531 23.0
5th New York Yankees 80 81 .497 28.5
6th Cleveland Indians 62 99 .358 46.5
West Division
1st Minnesota Twins 97 65 .599    --
2nd Oakland Athletics 88 74 .543   9.0
3rd California Angels 71 91 .438 26.0
4th Kansas City Royals 69 93 .426 28.0
5th Chicago White Sox 68 94 .420 29.0
6th Seattle Pilots 64 98 .395 33.0
National League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
East Division
1st New York Mets 100 62 .617    --
2nd Chicago Cubs 92 70 .568   8.0
3rd Pittsburgh Pirates 88 74 .543 12.0
4th St. Louis Cardinals 87 75 .537 13.0
5th Philadelphia Phillies 63 99 .389 37.0
6th Montreal Expos 52 110 .321 48.0
West Division
1st Atlanta Braves 93 69 .574    --
2nd San Francisco Giants 90 72 .556   3.0
3rd Cincinnati Reds 89 73 .549 4.0
4th Los Angeles Dodgers 85 77 .525 8.0
5th Houston Astros 81 81 .500 12.0
6th San Diego Padres 52 110 .321 41.0

Events[edit]

January–March[edit]

April–June[edit]

  • April 9 - Billy Williams hit 4 consecutive doubles to tie the Major League record during an 11-3 win over the Phillies at Wrigley Field. The Cubs scored seven runs in the seventh inning.
  • April 10 - At Shea Stadium, Tommie Agee hits a tremendous home run halfway up in the left field upper deck, a feat that was never matched.
  • May 1 - The Houston Astros, no-hit the day before by Jim Maloney of the Cincinnati Reds, answer back as Don Wilson pitches a 4-0 no-hitter, with 13 strikeouts over the Reds. Houston ties a National League record with just one assist. In Wilson's previous start against Cincinnati, on April 22, he gave up six runs in five innings in a 14-0 loss. The back-to-back no-hitters are only the second in Major League history, the feat having been accomplished just the year before by Gaylord Perry and Ray Washburn.
  • June 19 - Chicago Cubs manager Leo Durocher marries 40-year-old Lynne Walker Goldblatt.
  • June 22 - The Cubs score four runs in the ninth inning to defeat the Montreal Expos 7-6 in the first game of a double-header at Wrigley Field. Jim Hickman hit a 2-run walk-off homer.
  • June 26 - Jim Hickman's home run in the 10th inning defeats the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-5 at Wrigley Field. On the spur of the moment Ron Santo leaped in the air and clicked his heels 3 times on the way to the clubhouse. The victory dance became a hit with euphoric Cub fans.

July[edit]

  • July 8 - With three runs in the 9th inning, the New York Mets beat the Chicago Cubs 4-3, cutting Chicago's lead in the National League East to four games. Chicago's Ron Santo rips into center fielder Don Young for two misplays in the outfield; Santo apologizes the next day for criticizing Young, who had left early and didn't take the team bus. Santo is later booed in his first game back at Wrigley Field.
  • July 26 - Randy Hundley drives in all three Cub Runs, including a walk-off dingle in the 11th inning, to lead the Cubs to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field.
  • July 30 - After losing the first game of a doubleheader with the Houston Astros 16-3, the New York Mets were down 7-0 in the third inning when Johnny Edwards hit a double to Cleon Jones in left field to make the score 8-0. Mets manager Gil Hodges emerged from the dugout, walked past Nolan Ryan on the mound, and walked all the way out to left field. A few minutes later, Hodges walked back to the dugout, with Jones a few paces behind him, and replaced Jones in left with Ron Swoboda. According to Jones, he pointed down to the water filled turf. Hodges then said that something must be wrong with Jones's ankle and pulled him for that reason (Jones was kept out of the line-up for the next two games, and used only as a pinch hitter in the two after that). Newspapers report that Jones was removed for failure to hustle, and Hodges decided to do so publicly to show that he would not tolerate lack of effort on his team, even from its star player.

August[edit]

  • August 5 - The Pittsburgh Pirates' Willie Stargell hits the first home run ever hit completely out of Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles pitcher Alan Foster surrenders the 506-foot blast—to date, the longest home run in Dodger Stadium history. (Stargell will hit another homer out of Dodger Stadium, off Andy Messersmith in 1973.) The mammoth home run comes in the seventh inning and breaks a 3-3 tie, a three-run home run by Andy Kosco having tied the game for the Dodgers in the bottom of the sixth; Pittsburgh scores seven more runs in the ninth inning and defeats Los Angeles 11-3.
  • August 10 - Citing damage to his right shoulder, Don Drysdale retires from the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is the last player still playing for the Dodgers that had also played in Brooklyn.
  • August 14 - In the National League Eastern Division, the Chicago Cubs lead the St. Louis Cardinals by 8.5 games and the New York Mets by 9.5 games.
  • August 19 - At Wrigley Field, Ken Holtzman of the Chicago Cubs no-hits the Atlanta Braves 3-0 without striking out a single batter the entire game. Only one other pitcher in Major League history, Sad Sam Jones in 1923, has hurled a no-hitter without the benefit of a strikeout. Holtzman survives a scare in the seventh as Hank Aaron's fly ball to deep left field leading off the inning appears to be going over the wall for a home run; however, a stiff wind cuts into the ball and enables Billy Williams to catch it at the warning track. Aaron will ground out to Cubs' second baseman Glenn Beckert for the game's final out.

September[edit]

  • September 9 - During the Mets' 7-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Shea, a black cat jumps on the field and runs past Ron Santo in the on-deck circle.
  • September 10 - A loss by the Chicago Cubs, and a double header sweep by the New York Mets, gives the Mets their first ever lead of the National League East Division. The Mets will not relinquish their lead from this point, as the Cubs suffer through a legendary collapse.
  • September 24 - After 7 uninspired losing seasons, the New York Mets clinch the National League East Division title as Donn Clendenon hit 2 home runs in a 6-0 Mets win over Steve Carlton and the St. Louis Cardinals. The Mets have won 38 out of their 49 games dating from August 14. The Cubs will finish the season 8 games behind the Mets, and not win the division until exactly fifteen years from this day.

October–December[edit]

  • November 25 - Outfielder Lou Piniella, who hit .282 with 11 home runs and 68 RBI, is named American League Rookie of the Year over pitcher Mike Nagy (12-2, 3.11 ERA), outfielder Carlos May (.281, 18, 62) and pitcher Ken Tatum (7-2, 1.36).

Births[edit]

January–March[edit]

April–June[edit]

July–September[edit]

October–December[edit]

Deaths[edit]

January–April[edit]

  • January 6 - Hank Olmsted, 89, pitcher for the 1905 Boston Americans
  • January 23 - Al Bridwell, 85, shortstop whose apparent game-winning single for the New York Giants in a 1908 contest led to the controversial play in which baserunner Fred Merkle was eventually called out for not touching second base
  • February 19 - Doc White, 89, Chicago White Sox pitcher whose record of five consecutive shutouts was finally broken by Don Drysdale in 1968
  • March 14 - Heinie Zimmerman, 82, third baseman who won the NL triple crown in 1912 but was barred from baseball in 1919 for his role in fixing games
  • March 16 - William Bell, 71, All-Star pitcher of the Negro Leagues who posted the highest career winning percentage in black baseball
  • March 21 - Pinky Higgins, 59, third baseman who held the AL record for career games at that position from 1944 to 1959, a 3-time All-Star and later manager of the Red Sox
  • April 4 - Les Wilson, 83, outfielder who played for the 1911 Boston Red Sox
  • April 7 - Si Rosenthal, 65, outfielder who played from 1925 to 1926 for the Boston Red Sox
  • April 19 - Rip Collins, 59, catcher for the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees in the 1940s
  • April 23 - Freddie Moncewicz, 65, backup shortstop for the 1928 Boston Red Sox

May–August[edit]

  • May 1 - Gary Wilson, 90, second baseman for the 1902 Boston Americans
  • May 5 - Eddie Cicotte, 84, pitcher who won 208 games for the Tigers, Red Sox and White Sox, but was thrown out of baseball as one of the eight "Black Sox" involved in fixing the 1919 World Series; he was the first of the eight to come forward, confessing his involvement and testifying before the grand jury
  • May 17 - Pants Rowland, 90, manager of the 1917 World Series champion Chicago White Sox, later president of the Pacific Coast League from 1944 to 1954
  • May 20 - Lee Allen, 54, historian at the Baseball Hall of Fame since 1959, former sportswriter
  • May 25 - Jim Riley, 74, Canadian infielder for the St. Louis Browns and Washington Senators, who also is the only athlete in sports history to play both Major League Baseball and in the National Hockey League.
  • June 24 - John Perrin, 71, right fielder for 1921 Boston Red Sox; later a fullback/quarterback for the NFL Hartford Blues
  • July 8 - Bill Carrigan, 85, manager and backup catcher for the Boston Red Sox' world champions in 1915 and 1916

September–December[edit]

  • September 29 - Tommy Leach, 91, third baseman and center fielder, primarily for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who led the NL in runs twice and home runs once
  • September 30 - Jim Galvin, 62, played briefly for the 1930 Boston Red Sox
  • October 2 - Gordon Cobbledick, 70, sportswriter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer from 1928 to 1964
  • October 9 - Don Hoak, 41, third baseman who played on 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers and 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates World Series championship teams.
  • November 1 - George Winn, 72, pitcher for the Boston Red Sox (1919) and Cleveland Indians (1922–23)
  • November 14 - Curt Roberts, 40, first black player in Pittsburgh Pirates history
  • November 15 - Billy Southworth, 76, manager who won World Series titles in 1942 and 1944 with the St. Louis Cardinals and the 1948 NL pennant with the Boston Braves, posting a .597 career winning percentage
  • November 30 - Eddie Eayrs, 79, outfielder/pitcher who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Braves and Brooklyn Robins in the early 20th century
  • December 3 - Roy Wilson, 83, pitcher for the Chicago White Sox in the 1920s
  • December 7 - Lefty O'Doul, 72, left fielder who batted .349 in his career and won two batting titles after being converted from a pitcher; became the winningest manager in Pacific Coast League history, and earned additional fame as the "father" of professional baseball in Japan
  • December 11 - Ollie Fuhrman, 83, catcher who hit .333 for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1922.

References[edit]