Sep 9, 2016

Remembering Mets History: (1969) Mets Take Over First Place (Look Who's No. 1)

Wednesday September 10th 1969: This is one of the most historic days in Mets history as for it was on this night that the Mets took over first place for the first time & they never looked back.

On August 19th the Chicago Cubs had led the Mets by 9 1/2 games, but they soon lost 14 of 21 games including a glorious three game sweep by the Mets at Shea Stadium. The Mets on the other hand had won 23 of 29 games after this twin bill sweep, making it seven straight wins.

Tonight Gil Hodges Mets (83-57) hosted Gene Mauch's last place, expansion Montreal Expos (44-98). In the first game Gil Hodges sent Jim McAndrew to the mound against Mike Wegener.

Starting Lineups

The Expos scored on a Mets error in the 1st inning, but the Mets came back as Tommie Agee led off with a walk, reached second on a passed ball & third on a ground out. Art Shamsky drove him in to tie the game at one.

In the top of the 2nd, Mack Jones tripled & scored on Donn Clendenon's throwing error making it 2-1 Expos. In the 5th Tommie Agee reached on an error. Wayne Garrett singled & Cleon Jones walked to load the bases. Then in 1969 Amazing Fashion, Expo pitcher Mike Wegener balked in Agee with the tying run. And the crowd went nuts......

The game remained tied as the starters gave way to relievers Bill Stoneman for Montreal & Ron Taylor for New York. In the bottom of the 12th, Cleon Jones singled with two men out. Rod Gaspar then walked putting Jones in scoring position. Ken Boswell singled up the middle scoring Cleon Jones with the walk off winning run. The crowd chanted "We're Number One" as the big Shea scoreboard flashed the same.

In the nightcap: Nolan Ryan pitched a three hit, one run complete game striking out eleven Expos along the way, while walking four. The win got Ryan to 6-1 on the season with a 2.95 ERA & 79 strike outs in 76 innings up to that point.

In the bottom of the 3rd inning, the Mets sent eleven men to the plate as they scored six runs with six hits. Jerry Grote led off with a double, Bud Harrelson singled but Grote was out at home on a fielders choice hit by Nolan Ryan. Tommie Agee was hit by a pitch & a wild pitch to Wayne Garrett scored Harrelson.

Garrett then singled scoring Nolan Ryan. Cleon Jones, then singled home two more runs keeping himself on pace for that years batting title. Ken Boswell also singled bringing in a run & the inning was capped off as Art Shamsky (who also singled ) scored the sixth run.

A wild pitch in the 7th inning scored Ken Boswell with the final run as the Mets went on to a 7-1 win, double header sweep & a one game lead in the N.L. East. Amazing..........

After the game Tom Seaver popped a few corks of bubbly & poured it into paper cups. He said- "Some of the guys visited a winery today and brought back three bottles of champagne & sparkling burgundy". The team toasted Nolan Ryan & Kenny Boswell.

Quotes: Ken Boswell: "I felt if I didn't do it, somebody else would have, but I'm glad it was me".

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