50th Anniversary of the 1969 World Champion "Amazing Mets"
The Reds would finish third in 1969, but in 1970 become the Big Red Machine getting to the World Series. They would be in four World Series in the next seven years, winning two titles under new Manager; Sparky Anderson.
Todays game was played at Crosley Field in front of 12291 fans. Crosley Field had been the home of the Reds for 58 years since 1912. The next season 1970, the Reds would play in new Riverfront Stadium, a cookie cutter artificial turf facility where they would play until 2002. Also, 1969 marked the 100th Anniversary of the Reds team.
Reds pitcher Jim Maloney just came off pitching a no hitter against the Houston Astros in his last start on April 30th.
Ironically Astros pitcher Don Wilson pitched a no hitter against the Reds the next day. In 1965 Maloney had pitched a no hitter against the Mets for nine innings. In the 10th, the Mets Johnny Lewis homered to win the game & give Maloney the loss. Today Maloney got the start against the Mets Don Cardwell.
The game went quietly until the 4th inning, when Mets second baseman Kenny Boswell started out the inning, hitting his second HR of the year. The Reds answered in the home 5th, as Lee May hit solo HR to tie the game.
Trivia: Slugger Lee May would hit 38 HRs & drive in 110 runs in 1969. May would hit over 25 HRs & drive in over 90 runs eight times in his career. He played for the Reds (1965-1971) Housto Astros (1972-1974) Baltimore Orioles (1975-1980) & Kansas City Royals (1981-1982).
In an 18 year career he had 354 career HRs with 1244 RBIs & 340 doubles. In 1971 May & Tommy Helms were traded to the Astros in exchange for some big parts of the Big Red Machine- Jack Billingham, Joe Morgan, Cesar Geronimo, Dennis Menke & Ed Armbrister.
In the 6th, rookie Wayne Garrett hit the first HR of his career, also his only HR of 1969. Two batters later Cleon Jones (who was batting .406) hit another solo HR, his fourth HR of the year. The Mets had a 3-1 lead.
The Mets bats exploded in the 8th inning, as they sent nine men to the plate with five runs on four hits, a walk & a hit by pitch. Bowell & Hones both singled, they were both moved over on a bunt & a fielders choice.
Reds pitcher Wayne Granger then threw a wild pitch to Tommie Agee, and Cleon Jones scored. Bud Harrelson then singled & an error lead the Mets to score another run. Then pitcher Don Cardwell, blasted a three run HR making it 8-1 Mets.
Trivia: Cardwell hit 15 career HRs in 698 at bats. He hit three of them as a New York Met. In 1960 Cardwell hit five in one season for the Phillies & Cubs.
On the mound Cardwell pitched the complete game, striking out eight batters, giving up just one run on six hits with only one walk. It was his first win of the year to get to 1-4.