Jul 7, 2016

Remebering Mets History: (1969) Ed Kranepool's Walk Off Hit Shows 1st Place Cubs These Mets Are Amazing

Tuesday July 8th 1969: The 1969 Amazing Mets were continuing to play well into July & were now breathing down the necks of the first place Chicago Cubs. The Cubs were still not taking the Mets seriously enough,but this weeks exciting head to head action opened their eyes as well as all of the baseball worlds. These games can be looked at as the biggest turning points of the 1969 Miracle Mets season.

Gil Hodges Mets (46-34) sent Jerry Koosman to the mound, as they hosted Leo Durocher's Cubs (53-32) with Ferguson Jenkins pitching for Chicago. The Cubs had a 4/12 game lead over the Mets, the game began in front of 55,096 excited Mets fans at Shea Stadium.

Cubs- Don Young
Both pitchers held each time scoreless until the bottom of the 5th inning, when the Mets Ed Kranepool hit a solo HR, his 8th HR of the season. The Cubs answered in the 6th as future Hall of Famer; Ernie Banks tied the game with a solo HR of his own.

In the 7th Jenkins led off with a walk & was brought in by a Glen Beckert single making it 2-1 Cubs. Former Met Jim Hickman added a HR in the 8th inning as well.

Jenkins shut the Mets down in the 7th & 8th inning. He was working on a one hitter, the only hit being Kranepool's HR. He took the mound in the bottom of the 9th with a 3-1 lead.

The bottom of the 9th with Ken Boswell leading off, he roped a shot to center field that Cubs outfielder Don Young first broke back on & then rushed in but it was too late as Boswell scampered into second base with a double. "Anyone who has ever played center field in Shea Stadium in a day game knows the sun is very difficult," Cubs catcher Randy Hundley said years later.


After Tommie Agee flew out, Donn Clendenon pinch hit for Bobby Pfeil and he hit a shot to left center field that outfielder Don Young could not get to. The ball popped out as he ran into the Shea outfield wall.

Clendenon was credited with a double but Boswell had to hold up at third.

Cleon Jones one of the top hitters in the league that season, then doubled down the left field line scoring both runners tying the game. The Shea crowd went wild. Jenkins remained in the game & Art Shamsky was intentionally walked. Wayne Garrett then grounded out to second, advancing the runners with two outs.




Ed Kranepool came up and delivered a single to shallow left center field, Cleon Jones raced home with the game winning run.

The Mets had a thrilling 4-3 afternoon win, delighting the big Shea crowd who were going nuts.


Quotes: Mets Broadcaster Lindsey Nelson- "It's absolute bedlam here at Shea Stadium"!

After the game, the Cubs Ron Santo lectured his team mate Don Young about his two outfield plays that were miscued although no errors were charged to him.

Santo then criticized the rookie Young to the press  "He was thinking about himself. He had a bad day at the plate so he's got his head down. He's worrying about his batting average, not the team." The next day Santo apologized.

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