May 31, 2019

50th Anniversary of the 1969 Mets: Sweep Of Giants At Shea Brings Win Streak To Four

50th Anniversary of the 1969 World Champion "Amazing Mets"
 
It was always a big deal when the Giants & Dodgers came back to town, in those good old days. It had been just a dozen seasons ago, that the Giants & Dodgers had left the Polo Grounds & Ebbets Field for the West Coast. 

Many of their loyal fans would still come out to root for their old teams when they visited New York. So it was an exiting weekend in New York as the Giants started out a three game series with the three game set with Dodgers to follow.


This was to be a big week for the Amazing Mets as they went on an 11 game win streak, opening up some eyes around the league & starting to show they were for real.

1969 S.F. Giants: The 1969 San Francisco Giants won 90 games (90-72) finishing second in the NL West just three behind the Atlanta Braves.


The outstanding player of the '69 Giants was Willie McCovey who led the NL in HRs (45) & RBIs (126) batting .320, winning the league's MVP Award. Willie Mays was aging & limited to 117 games.


Bobby Bonds had a fine year as well, stealing 45 bases (3rd most in the NL) while hitting 32 HRs with 90 RBIs & leading the league in strike outs (187).

Hall of Fame pitchers, Juan Marichal won 21 games (21-11) & Gaylord Perry won 19 games (19-14). Pitcher Frank Linzy was 14-9 with 11 saves in 58 appearances.


Friday 5/30/69: Clyde King's fourth place San Francisco Giants (24-21) arrived at Shea for a three game series. Tom Seaver went up against Mike McCormick in front of 52,272 fans. 

McCormick had won 22 games two years ago, in the shadows of Hall of Famers, Gaylord Perry & Juan Marichal. 

Starting Lineups



Willie McCovey hit his 14th HR of the year to lead off the 2nd inning. Former Met, the teams first starting All Star, Ron Hunt added an RBI single in the 3rd to make it 2-0. Willie McCovey's sac fly made it 3-0 in the 6th inning.

In the home 7th, Ron Swoboda took McCormick deep, ending his potential shut out.
In the 8th inning down 3-1, Utility man; Rod Gaspar came up big against a tiring McCormick, hitting his only HR of the season, narrowing the lead to 3-2.

With two outs, Tommie Agee singled & knocking McCormick out of the game. The new pitcher was Frank Linzy, Cleon Jones who was batting .369, singled as well. Ron Swoboda then added another RBI, as his single tied it up at three. Manager King went to his pen again, bringing in Joe Gibbon. 

Gil Hodges who had Art Shamsky pinch hitting for Charles, made his next move sending in Duffy Dyer to bat instead. Dyer came through, as he singled home Cleon Jones with what turned out to be the winning run 4-3. 

Reliever Ron Taylor closed the game out with a perfect 9th inning. Seaver got his 7th win of the year (7-3) pitching eight innings, allowing three runs on four hits, he struck out eight & walked
just one. METS WIN STREAK @ 2


Saturday 5/31/69: A crowd of 32178 came to Shea Stadium in this matinee, as future Hall of Famer, Gaylord Perry went up against Mets Rookie, Gary Gentry.

Starting Lineups

In the 4th inning, slugger Willie McCovey belted a two run HR, his second of the series & 15th of the season to make it 2-0. But that would be all Gentry would allow, in seven innings he gave two runs on five hits, with three walks while striking six. 

In the bottom of the inning, Mets third baseman, the Glider- Ed Charles, provided the big blow, with a three run HR, his first of the year. Charles would hit just three HRs all season. It was 3-2 Mets.

In the 8th inning, Wayne Garrett singled & was sacrificed to second. Ed Kranepool was walked intentionally & reliever Ron Herbel got Ron Swoboda to strike out. Ed Charles, delivered once again, his base hit scored Garrett, sealing the 4-2 win.

Trivia: The four RBI game for Charles, was his biggest of the season in 61 games played. 

Tug McGraw earned his first save of the year, as Gentry went to 4-4 with the win. Perry took the loss.
METS WIN STREAK @ 3.

Sunday 6/1/69: On this Sunday afternoon, 41,294 fans came to Shea Stadium as the Mets went for the series sweep. Gil Hodges sent another one of his young pitchers to the mound, Jim McAndrew. He went up against the Giants Bobby Bolin. The previous year, Bolin had the NL's second best ERA (1.99) behind Bob Gibson's record 1.12.

Starting Lineups

Jim McAndrew got pulled in the 2nd inning due to a blister on his finger. A rocky 1st inning, had him give up two hits, two walks & a sac fly RBI from Jim Ray Hart. He departed with two men on & two outs. Don Cardwell came in relief, and a wild pitch gave the Giants their second run.

In the home 2nd, Ron Swoboda & Ed Charles both singled. Jerry Grote tripled tying up the game at two. Grote had three triples on the year & 22 in his 16 year career.


In the Giants 5th, McCovey hit his third HR of the series, one in each game. It was his 16th HR of the year.

In the home 5th, with two outs Bolin walked Wayne Garrett & Cleon Jones. Ed Kranepool & Ron Swoboda both added RBI singles putting the Mets ahead 4-3.

The Giants; Jim Davenport tied it up with an RBI single scoring Tito Fuentes in the top of 6th. 

With the score tied 4-4 in the bottom of the 9th, Giants reliever Joe Gibbon had an awful inning. He walked Bud Harrelson, then got the next two outs.

Then he walked Cleon Jones, & rookie Amos Otis. Feeling the pressure, he then walked Ron Swoboda and in came Bud Harrelson with the winning run. 

The Mets swept the Giants for the first time in team history, and had a four game win streak. METS WIN STREAK @ 4.

At this point the Mets were 22-23 in third place, nine games behind the Chicago Cubs.

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