Jul 4, 2019

50th Anniversary of the 1969 Mets: Independence Day Double Header Sweep

Friday July 4th 1969: Gil Hodges New York Mets (43-34) had just come off a four game split in St. Louis against last years World Champs.

On this Independence Day double header they went to Pittsburgh's Forbes Field to take on Larry Shepard's Pirates (38-41).

Former Pirates Ralph Kiner, now a Mets broadcaster & Donn Clendenon enjoyed returning to see their former team & friends.

Tom Seaver was going for his 13th win of the year, against two losses, facing off with the Pirates, Bob Veale. From 1964 thru 1967, Veale had won 16 games or more each season.

Starting Lineups


 In the 2nd, Rod Gaspar reached on an error advancing to second base. Catcher, Jerry Grote singled, bringing home Gaspar with the 1st run. In the 3rd, utility man, Bobby Pfeil doubled (one of his none doubles on the year). Cleon Jones then singled him home with the Mets second run. Jones would finish the game batting at .358.

The Pirates tied it in the 4th, as slugger Willie Stargell hit his 12th HR of the year & catcher Jerry May hit an RBI sac fly.

In the 5th, Cleon Jones & Don Clendenon had back to back doubles, putting the Mets ahead. Veale gave way to reliever, Bruce Dal Canton. Later in the inning, Al Weis drove in Jones & Wayne Garrett who had drawn a walk, making it 6-2 New York.

In the 8th, Seaver led off with a walk& then Tommie Agee hit his 12th HR of the year, making it 8-2.

In the home 8th, Seaver tired, allowing two runs on three hits, giving way to reliever Cal Koonce. Koonce would allow a 9th inning RBI double to Roberto Clemente, but by then the Mets lead had grown to 11-4.

The Mets beat up the five Pirate pitchers in this game, getting Veale for four runs, Dal Canton for two runs, Lou Marone for two runs & Bob Moose for three more runs in the 9th.

In the 9th, Grote walked, Weis singled & then three consecutive singles from Koonce, Agee & Pfiel.

Seaver earned his 13th win to go 13-2.

Night Cap: In the second game, Gil Hodges sent Don Cardwell to the mound, Cardwell was struggling for wins as he entered the game 2-8. He faced off against a young Doc Ellis.

Starting Lineups


Cardwell allowed two runs on six hits through seven innings pitched. Willie Stargell tripled in a run & little Freddie Patek hit a solo HR. Jack DiLauro came on to pitch two scoreless innings.

The Mets bats started right away, in the 1st, Tommie Agee led off with a single & with two outs Art Shamsky walked. Wayne Garrett singled to load the bases. Ellis then walked Ed Kranepool & surrendered a single to J.C. Martin. Next Al Weis tripled, clearing the bases making it 5-0 Mets.

In the 2nd, Art Shamsky drove in Tommie Agee for the sixth run. In the 3rd, J.C. Martin hit his 3rd HR of the year making it 7-2.  In the 9th, four straight Mets singles made it 9-2, as Shamsky got another RBI & Wayne Garrett an RBI as well.

The Mets swept the twin bill, improving to ten games above .500 (44-34) 7 1/2 games behind Chicago, fourth best record in the NL.

The usually light hitting Al Weis had himself a big day with the bat, as he collected five hits, two doubles, a triple & five RBIs.

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