50th Anniversary of the 1969 World Champion "Amazing Mets"Wednesday May 28th, 1969: A small crowd of 11860 came out to Shea Stadium as the Mets (19-23) hosted a new NL Western team, the San Diego Padres (18-30). It was the Padres first trip to New York, they beat the Mets the previous night, as the Mets had dropped their fifth straight.
It was their worst losing streak of the Mets 1969 season. On this night they sent Jerry Koosman the mound against Clay Kirby.
Koosman had missed a month of action with a shoulder issue, this was his second start after his return.
Koosman was on tonight for sure, he was brilliant unfortunately getting no decision in the 11 inning affair. He set a Mets record up until this point in team history (eight seasons) by striking out 15 batters, surpassing Nolan Ryan's previous record of 14. Koosman would pitch 11 shut out innings, allowing just four hits & walking two in his 15 K performance. The 15 Ks were also an NL high up to that point in the season.
Trivia: The Padres were one of fours expansion teams in 1969: including the Montreal Expos- Kansas City Royals & Seattle Pilots. The Padres had been in the Pacific Coast League since 1936. They would go 52-110 & finish last in their inaugural 1969 season. They played at Jack Murphy Stadium, named after Mets broadcaster Bob Murphy's brother. Jack was a sportswriter instrumental in getting the NFL Chargers to relocate to San Diego & get the Padres into the MLB expansion. The teams name is Spanish for "fathers" referring toe the Franciscan Friars who founded the city in 1869.
In the 2nd inning, Nate Colbert walked & Al Ferrara singled for San Diego, but Koos got the next two batters walked former Met catcher, Chris Cannizzaro to get to the pitcher Kirby, then struck him out. He allowed just one hit over the next six innings, as well as striking out the side in the 8th inning.
For the Padres, Clay Kirby went nine innings shutting out the Mets as well, with seven hits, four strike outs & three walks. In the 10th, Tommie Sisk came on & walked the Mets Art Shamsky. After a failed sacrifice attempt, Billy McCool came on, intentionally walked Ed Charles & got Ken Boswell to line out doubling up Charles at first.
In the home 10th, Cleon Jones reached on an error by third baseman Roberto Pena. Ron Swoboda singled with one out. Padre Manager Preston Gomez, went to the bullpen briningin in Frank Redberger. He intentionally walked Jerry Grote, bringing up Bud Harrelson.
Bud Harrelson, was one of the most valuable players on the 1969 Mets, usually with his glove on defense, also contributed with some speed & fine base running. And then there were time like these where the .248 hitter would contribute with a key hit. On this night he ended the extra inning contest with a single to right field scoring Jones with a walk off Mets win.