1969 in baseball
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.
Major League Baseball
The most notable part of the 1969 season were the Miracle Mets
|League Championship Series NBC||World Series NBC|
|NL||New York Mets||4|
|East||New York Mets||3|
- All-Star Game, July 23 at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium: National League, 9-3; Willie McCovey, MVP
- College World Series: Arizona State
- Japan Series: Yomiuri Giants over Hankyu Braves (4-2)
- Little League World Series: Taipei, Taiwan
Awards and honors
- Most Valuable Player
- Cy Young Award
- Rookie of the Year
MLB statistical leaders
Major league baseball final standings
- January 22 - The Expos trade Donn Clendenon and Jesús Alou to the Houston Astros for Rusty Staub. The Astros had recently hired Clendenon's former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Harry Walker to steer their club, with whom Clendenon had a personality clash, and Clendenon refused to report to his new team. The Expos and Astros worked out a new deal, and Clendenon join the Expos on April 19.
- February 2 - Pitchers Stan Coveleski and Waite Hoyt are voted into the Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee.
- March 1 - Mickey Mantle announces his retirement.
- March 16 - A plane crash in Maracaibo, Venezuela kills 155 people including first baseman Carlos Santeliz, the Venezuelan League Rookie of the Year, on his way to the Braves' spring training camp. Another fatality is pitcher Látigo Chávez, en route to the Giants' camp. Chávez (1-0) was 12–5 with Double-A Waterbury in the Eastern League (1967), including seven shutouts. Pitcher Pablo Torrealba was also scheduled to take the flight, but missed it and took a later one.
- April 8
- At Shea Stadium, Dan McGinn hits the first home run in Montréal Expos history, a solo shot against Tom Seaver.
- At Anaheim Stadium, Mike Hegan hits the first home run in Seattle Pilots history, a two-run shot against Jim McGlothlin.
- At San Diego Stadium, Ed Spiezio hits the first home run in San Diego Padres history, a solo shot against Don Wilson of the Houston Astros.
- At Municipal Stadium, the Kansas City Royals, in their inaugural game, defeat the Minnesota Twins 4-3 in 12 innings. Two pitching stars on the Baltimore Orioles team that won the 1966 World Series pitch for the Royals in this game: Wally Bunker throws the very first pitch, and Moe Drabowsky wins the game in relief. The Royals' first-ever batter, Lou Piniella, gets the first hit for the franchise, leading off the game with a double, and scoring their first run on Jerry Adair's single one batter later.
- At Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs opened their wild 1969 season in dramatic fashion, as Willie Smith hit a pinch-hit, two-run, walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-6.
- 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.
- April 11 - Seattle successfully inaugurates Major League Baseball at Sicks Stadium‚ as pitcher Gary Bell defeats the Chicago White Sox 7–0. The Seattle Pilots attract 17‚850 today and will draw just 678‚000 for the season. U.S. Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson throws out the first ball and will do the same in the Seattle Mariners opener‚ in 1977.
- April 12 - At Detroit, the Yankees' Mel Stottlemyre allows just one hit, a 4th-inning double to Jim Northrup, and beats Denny McLain and the Detroit Tigers 4–0. For the 3rd time in two years, Northrup saves the Tigers from being the victims of a no-hitter.
- April 13 - At the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Mike Fiore hits the first home run in Kansas City Royals history, a solo shot against Blue Moon Odom.
- April 14 - The Montréal Expos open at home with an 8-7 win over the St. Louis Cardinals at Parc Jarry.
- April 17 - At Connie Mack Stadium, Bill Stoneman of the Montréal Expos no-hits the Philadelphia Phillies 7-0. The game is only the ninth in Expos history, and only the fifth start in Stoneman's Major League career.
- April 25 - The Cubs trade Joe Niekro, Gary Ross, and Francisco Libran to the San Diego Padres for Dick Selma.
- 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.
- May 12 - Bob Gibson of the St. Louis Cardinals becomes the seventh pitcher in National League history to strike out the side on nine pitches, being his victims Len Gabrielson, Paul Popovich and John Miller in the seventh inning of a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Gibson enjoys his feat as part of a 6–2 victory for St. Louis.
- May 13 - Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs reaches the 1,500 runs batted in milestone while driving in seven runs in a 19–0 shellacking of the expansion San Diego Padres. Hard-throwing right-hander Dick Selma earns the victory as the Cubs tie a modern-day record for the most one-sided shutout in National League history.
- June 15 - The Montreal Expos deal Donn Clendenon to the New York Mets in exchange for Steve Renko, Kevin Collins and two minor leaguers.
- 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 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 9 - With one out in the ninth inning, the Chicago Cubs' Jim Qualls lines a single to left center to break up Tom Seaver's perfect game bid. The New York Mets' 4-0 victory over the Cubs at Shea Stadium would go down in history as "Tom Seaver's Imperfect Game."
- July 13 - In the third meeting between the two brothers, the San Diego Padres' Joe Niekro defeats his younger brother Phil Niekro of the Atlanta Braves 1–0; Joe is 2-1 over Phil.
- July 23 - At R.F.K. Memorial Stadium, Willie McCovey hits two home runs as the National League beats the American League 9–3, for its seventh straight All-Star Game win. McCovey is named MVP, with his two homers tying an All-Star Game record set earlier by Arky Vaughan (1941), Ted Williams (1946) and Al Rosen (1954). The game was postponed by one day after heavy rains in the Washington, D.C. area.
- 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 29 - Willie McCovey hits his 300th career home run helping the San Francisco Giants beat the Chicago Cubs, 4-2.
- 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 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 13
- Montréal reliever Roy Face gives up the last of his record 21 extra-inning home runs, an 11th-inning grand slam to the Cincinnati Reds' Johnny Bench. Cincinnati wins 8–3 in Montréal.
- Only four days after coming off the disabled list, Jim Palmer of the Baltimore Orioles no-hits the Oakland Athletics 8-0 at Memorial Stadium. The home plate umpire is Lou DiMuro, whose son Mike would call balls and strikes for Roy Halladay's perfect game on May 29, 2010.
- 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 8 - The Chicago Cubs open a crucial two game series against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium. Cubs starter Bill Hands knocks down the Mets' leadoff batter Tommie Agee in the first inning. Jerry Koosman hits the next Cubs batter he faces, Ron Santo, in the hand, breaking it. Agee hits a two run home run in the third, and the Mets win 3-2.
- 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 15 - The St. Louis Cardinals' Steve Carlton strikes out a record 19 New York Mets in a losing effort, as the Mets defeat the Cards 4-3 at Busch Stadium.
- September 22 - Willie Mays hits his 600th career home run helping the San Francisco Giants beat the San Diego Padres 4-2.
- September 23 - Carl Yastrzemski hits his 200th career home run helping the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Yankees 8-3.
- 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 2 - The Seattle Pilots finish what would be their only season in the Emerald City with a 3-1 loss to the Oakland Athletics at Sick's Stadium. The city of Seattle would not host another MLB team until the birth of the Mariners in 1977.
- October 4 - The American League and National League Championship Series begin, the first such series to feature the respective leagues' division champions. The Baltimore Orioles would sweep the Minnesota Twins in 3 games for the A.L. pennant; the New York Mets would do the same against the Atlanta Braves for the N.L. crown.
- October 7 - The St. Louis Cardinals trade Curt Flood to the Philadelphia Phillies in a seven-player deal that also sends Tim McCarver, Byron Browne and Joe Hoerner to the Phillies and Dick Allen, Cookie Rojas and Jerry Johnson to the Cardinals. Flood, however, refuses to report to the Phillies and instead challenges baseball's reserve clause. He will sit out the entire 1970 season.
- October 9 - The Pittsburgh Pirates re-hire Danny Murtaugh as their manager for what will be his third of four stints as Pirate skipper. This stint will see the Pirates win the 1970 National League East title for their first post-season berth since winning the 1960 World Series (with Murtaugh at the helm), as well as winning the 1971 World Series.
- October 14 - Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver is warned during Game 4 of the 1969 World Series by umpire Shag Crawford not to argue balls and strikes. After receiving this warning, Weaver follows Crawford to home plate, and is immediately ejected from the game.
- October 16 - The Baltimore Orioles are ahead 3-0 in Game five of the 1969 World Series at Shea Stadium when Dave McNally strikes New York Mets batter Cleon Jones in the foot with a pitch. However, home plate umpire Lou DiMuro ruled that the ball missed Jones. Mets manager Gil Hodges emerges from the dugout to argue, and showed DiMuro the shoe-polish smudged ball. DiMuro reversed his call, and awarded Jones first base. The following batter, Donn Clendenon, hit a two-run home run to pull the Mets within a run of Baltimore (his third home run of the Series). Following an Al Weis solo home run in the seventh to tie the game, the Mets score two in the eighth to take a 5-3 lead. Jerry Koosman pitches a complete game for the Mets, who win the World Series in five games. Clendenon is named World Series MVP.
- November 12 - Harmon Killebrew of the Minnesota Twins is voted Most Valuable Player by the BBWAA, after led the American League with 49 home runs, 140 RBI, and a .430 on-base percentage.
- 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).
- November 28 - Second baseman Ted Sizemore becomes the seventh Dodgers player to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award. Sizemore joins Jackie Robinson (1947), Don Newcombe (1949), Joe Black (1952), Junior Gilliam (1953), Frank Howard (1960) and Jim Lefebvre (1965).
- January 3 - Cris Colón
- January 7 - Chris Hatcher
- January 8 - Brian Boehringer
- January 10 - Takahito Nomura
- January 11 - Manny Acta
- January 13 - Kevin Foster
- January 13 - Orlando Miller
- January 15 - Delino DeShields
- January 19 - Orlando Palmeiro
- January 21 - Rusty Greer
- January 27 - Phil Plantier
- February 6 - Bob Wickman
- February 27 - Willie Banks
- March 1 - Doug Creek
- March 8 - Lee Tinsley
- March 23 - Chris Turner
- March 25 - Travis Fryman
- March 25 - Scott Sanders
- March 25 - Dan Wilson
- March 28 - Craig Paquette
- April 1 - Frank Castillo
- April 2 - Steve Hosey
- April 6 - Bret Boone
- April 7 - Ricky Bones
- April 8 - Pete Walker
- April 14 - Brad Ausmus
- April 14 - Brad Pennington
- April 15 - Jeromy Burnitz
- April 16 - Fernando Viña
- May 1 - Phil Hiatt
- May 10 - Pete Schourek
- May 13 - Lyle Mouton
- May 15 - Hideki Irabu
- May 22 - Vaughn Eshelman
- May 24 - Rob Drake
- May 27 - Todd Hundley
- May 28 - Mike DiFelice
- May 29 - Toby Borland
- June 2 - Kurt Abbott
- June 4 - Robert Pérez
- June 7 - Jeff Pierce
- June 16 - Kevin Young
- June 21 - Donovan Osborne
- June 25 - Brad Woodall
- June 26 - Mike Myers
- July 2 - So Taguchi
- July 8 - Bobby Ayala
- July 8 - Ernie Young
- July 10 - Marty Cordova
- July 11 - Mark Carlson
- July 14 - José Hernández
- July 24 - Jim Wolf
- July 26 - Greg Colbrunn
- July 29 - Mike Williams
- August 1 - Kevin Jarvis
- August 1 - Brent Knackert
- August 4 - Troy O'Leary
- August 5 - Marcos Armas
- August 9 - Troy Percival
- August 13 - Alex Fernández
- August 19 - Matt Franco
- August 20 - Mark Holzemer
- August 21 - Andújar Cedeño
- August 22 - Hipólito Pichardo
- August 26 - Ken Grundt
- August 27 - Ricky Bottalico
- August 31 - Nate Minchey
- September 7 - Darren Bragg
- September 11 - Eduardo Pérez
- September 12 - Hilly Hathaway
- September 13 - Russ Davis
- September 15 - Herb Perry
- September 21 - Jason Christiansen
- September 23 - Jeff Cirillo
- September 25 - Dave Weathers
- September 25 - Tony Womack
- October 2 - Matt Walbeck
- October 6 - Robert Person
- October 12 - José Valentín
- October 13 - Tim Crabtree
- October 13 - Damian Miller
- October 14 - Héctor Ortiz
- October 17 - Chris Tremie
- October 18 - Jeff McNeely
- October 20 - Juan González
- October 22 - Héctor Carrasco
- October 22 - Ariel Prieto
- October 24 - Arthur Rhodes
- October 26 - Mark Sweeney
- October 28 - Kirk Bullinger
- November 6 - Don Wengert
- November 8 - Shane Halter
- November 11 - Damion Easley
- November 16 - Pete Rose (Jr.)
- November 17 - Ben Weber
- November 21 - Ken Griffey, Jr.
- November 23 - David McCarty
- November 27 - Tim Laker
- November 28 - Pedro Astacio
- November 28 - Robb Nen
- November 29 - Mariano Rivera
- November 30 - Mark Lewis
- December 9 - Ramón García
- December 14 - Scott Hatteberg
- December 14 - Dave Nilsson
- December 16 - Jason Wood
- December 17 - Rudy Pemberton
- December 18 - Joe Randa
- December 29 - Scott Ruffcorn
- 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 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 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.