Oct 5, 2016

Remembering Mets History: 1969 NLCS Game #3: Mets Win The Pennant In A Sweep of The Braves

Monday October 6th 1969, NLCS GAME #3- Shea Stadium, New York: There is no doubt that this was the place to be onthis historic day in mets history. 54,195 ecited Aazing Mets fans filled Shea Stadium with the hottest ticket this side of the moon. 

It was the first Playoff game in Mets history to be played at Shea Stadium. It was actually and the first Championship Series game ever played in New York baseball history as well.

The Mets had taken the first two games of the series in Atlanta & were looking to clinch in a sweep at home. Mets Manager; Gil Hodges sent young rookie pitcher, Gary Gentry (13-12 / 3.43 ERA / 154 Ks) to the mound, as Atlanta Braves Manager; Lum Harris sent Pat Jarvis (13-11 / 4.43 ERA / 123 Ks) to oppose him.

Starting Lineups

The Braves hottest hitter;  Hank Aaron greeted Gentry in the 1st inning with a two run HR, putting Atlanta up onthe board first. Aaron would hit .357 in the series with 3 HRs & he drove in seven of the Braves 15 runs.

In the top of the 3rd inning Gentry surrendered two hits to start the inning, a single to Tony Gonzalez & a double to Aaron. Manager Gil Hodges saw enough, he took out Gentry and brought in his young fireballer Nolan Ryan (6-3 / 3.53 ERA / 125 Ks). 

Ryan who was still known to be wild & have control issues, was a bold choice for Hodges. 

Tommie Agee got the Mets on the board in the 3rd inning with his second HR of the Series, a solo shot off Jarvis.

In the home 4th, it was Ken Boswell once again, hitting his second HR of the Series, a two run shot scoring Art Shamsky, giving the Mets a 3-2 lead.
But in the top of the 5th inning, Ryan walked Rico Carty & surrendered a two run HR to Orlando Cepeda putting Atlanta out in front 4-3.

But the ’69 Mets never stayed down to long, in the bottom of the frame, Nolan Ryan led off with a base hit. Then Wayne Garrett who had hit just one HR all season in 400 at bats, blasted a shot over the Shea fence putting the Mets ahead 6-4.

Cleon Jones doubled, knocking out Pat Jarvis, he was removed in favor of future Met; George Stone.

Next, the hot hitting Kenny Boswell singled bringing in Jones to make it 6-4 Mets. For Boswell, It was his third hit & third RBI of the day. Boswell led all Met hitters with five RBIs in the NLCS and his four hits were second best. Tommie Agee & Wayne Garrett bot collected five hits.

In the home 6th, Jerry Grote doubled & was sacrificed over to second by Bud Harrelson. Tommie Agee added another hit & his fourth RBI of the Series, topping off the 7-4 win.

Nolan Ryan had one of his first big moments in the national spotlight on this day. He went the distance for the win, pitching seven innings, allowing two runs on two hits, with two walks 7 striking out seven Brave hitters with his fastball.

In the 9th inning Bob Aspromonte flew out to Agee for the first out. Future Met Felix Millan then grounded out to short stop.

The crowd were on their feet ready to storm the field, as the anticipation of the victory was a thrill in itself.
Braves batter, Tony Gonzales grounded to Wayne Garrett and as he threw the ball to first baseman; Ed Kranepool for the final out.

Mets broadcaster; Lindsey Nelson proclaimed " the Mets win the pennant, the Mets win the pennant". The Mets players ran to the dugout for their saftey. As Shea Stadium erupted & 54,000 fans charged the field tearing it apart. The Shea Stadium playing field looked like the surface of the moon.

 The Miracle Mets or the Amazing Mets were the NL Champions, winning the hearts of millions & becoming the ultimate underdogs.

They celebrated in the locker room as the champagane flowed. It was a wild scene. Afterwards, Tom Seaver & Gary Gentry went onthe field to view the damage on the playing field. It was to be quite a job for the grounds crew to fix up for the World Series!

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