50th Anniversary of the 1969 Mets: Mets Head to the All Star Break

50th Anniversary of the 1969 World Champion "Amazing Mets"

The New York Mets headed into the 1969 All Star break at 53-39 just five games behind the Chicago Cubs. It was the best position the Mets had ever been in at that point of a season, since their inception in 1962. Manager Gil Hodges had molded them into true contenders & they were for real in the exciting summer of '69.

The team closed out the first half splitting a four game weekend series in Montreal, with the Expos. On Friday night, Jerry Koosman won his third game in a row, going the distance in a 5-2 Mets win. Kooz struck out seven, walking two in the seven hitter that lowered his ERA to a 1.88, with an 8-5 record. For Koosman it was onto his second All Star Game, this one in Washington D.C.  

Jerry Grote hit his second HR of the year, a two run shot & Art Shamsky hit his eighth HR, a solo shot. Expo pitcher, Jerry Robinson walked in a run & allowed an RBI single to Rookie Wayne Garrett as well.

The Mets lost on Saturday, as Tom Seaver had one of his worst outings of the year. He allowed four runs on seven hits in just two innings of work, including a HR to Coco Laboy. 

There was some concern for Seaver's million dollar arm, as he felt a stiffness.

Quotes- Tom Seaver: "It's not from my teeth, I had them looked at. It's not from sleeping on it, because I try to sleep on my left side or my stomach. Rube (Walker) thinks it could be a cold that settled there. But I wear a pajama top to guard against air conditioning".

He said he first felt it on the night of the "Imperfect Game" in July but it worked itself out. He felt it again in Chicago & this start in Montreal, where it did not work itself out.

He was named to the All Star team but did not pitch due to the stiffness. The doctors checked him out & Seaver was fine, going onto his Cy Young season.

On Sunday July 20th, the Mets played a double header. They lost the first game 3-2 as Gary Waslewski out dueled Gary Gentry.

In the nightcap, Tommie Agee singled & Bud Harrelson walked to lead off the game. Ron Swoboda singled home Agee & Harrelson scored when Wayne Garrett grounded out. 

Mets starter, Don Cardwell took a 2-1 lead to the 8th inning, but gave up the lead when former Met, Kevin Collins doubled in Ty Cline to tie the game. 

In the 9th, another former Met, Don Shaw helped his old club, by walking Cleon Jones with the bases loaded. But Coco Laboy, struck again, hitting his 13th HR of the year to tie it up. This HR came off reliever Ron Taylor, who would only serve up seven HRs all year. It was his fourth blown save as well.
The Amazing's proved once again, how everyone on the team contributes. With two outs, Ron Swoboda doubled. 

Pinch hitter Bobby Pfeil then delivered the single that scored Swoboda with the game winning run. Pfeil would only drive in 10 runs all year (211 at bats).

Jack DiLauro came on to
pitch & earned the victory. It was his first & only victory of the year.

Also joining Seaver & Koosman at the All Star Game would be one of the leagues top hitters, Cleon Jones. At the break Jones was batting .341.


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