Oct 13, 2016

Remembering Mets History: 1969 World Series Game #3: Tommie Agee Saves The Day

Tuesday October 14th 1969- World Series Game #3- Shea Stadium, New York:

For the very first time in it's history, Shea Stadium hosted a World Series game. 56,335 Mets fans filed into Shea Stadium to see the Amazing Mets (100-62) go against the Baltimore Orioles (109-53). The series was tied at one game each, after the split in Baltimore.

Manager Gil Hodges sent his rookie  pitcher; Gary Gentry (13-12 / 3.43 ERA / 154 Ks) to the mound against O's Manager Earle Weaver's future Hall of Famer; Jim Palmer (16-4 / 2.34 / 123 Ks).

But this day would belong to Mets center fielder; Tommy Agee. Agee put on one of the best defensive displays in World Series history & a key hit as well. 

 Starting Lineups

In the bottom of the 1st, he gave the Shea crowd somethingto cheer about right away, Agee led off putting the Mets on the board with a HR off Palmer making it 1-0.

With two outs in the bottom of the 2nd, Jerry Grote walked and Bud Harrelson followed with a single. Pitcher; Gary Gentry came up and  surprised everyone with a double down the left field line scoring both runners, giving the Mets a 3-0 lead. Gentry ad only six hits (one double) & one RBI all season in 84 at bats.

In the 4th inning, Gentry struck out Paul Blair looking. Then Frank Robinson & Boog Powell both reached with base hits. Gentry struck out Brooks Robinson & Elrod Hendricks came to bat.

Hendricks ripped Gentry's pitch to the left center field gap. Tommy Agee ran a long way, stuck out his glove & made a spectacular catch grabbing the ball backhanded in the glove's webbing for the third out. The Shea crowd went wild, standing & cheering in amazement.

In the home 6th, Ken Boswell singled and scored on Jerry Grote's double giving the Mets a 4-0 lead. Gary Gentry rolled along into the 7th inning. He retired the first two batters, then walked Mark Belanger, Dave May & Don Buford. Manager Gil Hodges came out 7 took the ball from Gentry, bringing in young fire ball throwing; Nolan Ryan.

Ryan served up a fastball to Paul Blair that he ripped to the right center field gap. Once again Agee got on his horse and made a sliding diving grab, saving at least two of the runs from scoring.

The threat, the inning and the game were essentially over.

The Shea crowd cheered once again, everyone was in America was witnessing the Amazing Mets. Tommy Agee secured his place in Mets history & in the hearts of Mets fans forever.

The crowd of 56,335 gave Agee a standing ovation when he led off the bottom of the 7th inning & he drew a walk. Ryan breezed through the 8th inning, striking out Boog Powell & Brooks Robinson. In the bottom of the 8th, Ed Kranepool added a solo HR of his own making it 5-0 Mets.

In the 9th, Ryan got the first two outs then walked Mark Belanger. Pinch hitter; Clay Dalrymple then singled & Ryan walked Don Buford. Ryan then struck out Paul Blair looking to end the game. New York took a two games to one lead & got closer to the Miracle. 

Gary Gentry went 6.2 innings allowing three hits, with four strike outs, but walked five. Nolan Ryan pitched 2.1 innings, he struck out three batters, allowed one hit & walked two, earning the save.

Trivia: It was the only time Nolan Ryan ever pitched in a World Series in his 23 year career.

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