Remembering Mets History (1969) Look Who's Number 1

Wednesday September 10th, 1969: This is one of the most historic days in Mets history as it was on this night that the Amazing Mets took over first place for the first time & never looked back.

On August 19th the Chicago Cubs had led the Mets by 9.5 games, but the Cubs soon lost 14 of 21 games including a glorious three game sweep by the Mets at Shea Stadium. 

Gil Hodges Mets on the other hand had won 23 of 29 games & after taking this twin bill sweep, they had seven straight wins.

Tonight, the Mets (83-57) hosted Gene Mauch's last place, expansion Montreal Expos (44-98) in front of 23,512 fans at Shea Stadium.

 In the first game Gil Hodges sent Jim McAndrew (6-6) to the mound against Mike Wegener (4-12). Jim McAndrew had allowed just five earned runs in his last 41innings over five starts, which included two shut outs.

In the 1st inning, the Expos Ty Cline led off with a triple. Next, he scored on a rare Bud Harrelson error at short. 

But the Mets came right back in the bottom of the 1st, Tommie Agee led off with a walk, he reached second on a passed ball from the catcher Ron Brand. Agee then got to third on a ground out to the right side by Cleon Jones. 

Agee then scored on Art Shamsky's single to tie up the game at one.

In the top of the 2nd, the Expos Mack Jones tripled & scored on Donn Clendenon's throwing error making it 2-1 Expos.

 In the 5th Tommie Agee reached on an error by third baseman Coco Laboy. Wayne Garrett singled & Cleon Jones then walked to load the bases. 

Then in 1969 Amazing Mets Fashion, Expo pitcher Mike Wegener balked, bringing in Agee with the tying run. And the crowd went crazy.

The game remained tied as both starters gave way to their bull pens. For New York, Jim McAndrew pitched eleven innings, giving up two runs on four hits, he walked five & struck out seven. 

Ron Taylor came on for the Mets in the 12th, with two outs he gave up back-to-back singles, Tommie Agee threw out Remy Hermoso at the plate as he was trying to score from first base. 

The Expos' Mike Wegner also pitched eleven strong innings, giving up two runs on five hits, striking out 15 batters. Bill Stoneman came on for Montreal in the 12th. 

In the bottom of the 12th, Cleon Jones singled with two men out, Jones was batting .347 on the year. 

Rod Gaspar then walked putting Jones in scoring position. Ken Boswell singled up the middle scoring Cleon Jones with the walk off winning run. 

The crowd chanted "We're Number One- We're Number One" as the big Shea scoreboard flashed the same words. It was the first time in the clubs eight-year history they were on top of the league. The 1969 Mets were now 83-57 atop the NL East, with 17 games to play.

Nightcap: In the second game the Mets young fireballer Nolan Ryan, pitched a three hit one run complete game victory. Ryan struck out eleven Expos along the way, while walking four. The win got Ryan to 6-1 on the season with a 2.95 ERA. Up to that point, he had 79 strike outs in 76 innings pitched.

In the bottom of the 3rd inning, the Mets sent eleven men to the plate as they scored six runs with six hits. 

Jerry Grote led off with a double, Bud Harrelson singled but Grote was thrown out at home by Cocoa Laboy trying to score on a fielder's choice off the bat of Nolan Ryan. 

Expos pitcher Howie Reed then got wild, he hit Tommie Agee with a pitch, then threw a wild pitch to Wayne Garrett that scored Bud Harrelson to tie the game.

Wayne Garrett then singled scoring Nolan Ryan. Cleon Jones, one of the league's top hitters, then singled home two more runs keeping himself on pace to win that year's batting title. 

Howie Reed was relieved by Dan McGinn, then Ken Boswell & Art Shamsky singled bringing in two more runs, giving the Mets a 6-2 lead.

In the 7th inning, Ken Boswell tripled, he scored on a wild pitch from former Met Don Shaw, with the final run.

The Mets went on to a 7-1-win, a double header sweep & a one game lead in the N.L. East. It was also the teams' sixth straight win. Amazing..........

Post Game: After the game Tom Seaver popped a few corks of bubbly champagne & wine, as he poured it into paper cups. 

Quotes- Tom Seaver: "Some of the guys visited a winery today and brought back three bottles of champagne & sparkling burgundy". 

The team toasted Nolan Ryan on his pitching & Kenny Boswell on his hitting.

Quotes: Ken Boswell: "I felt if I didn't do it, somebody else would have, but I'm glad it was me".


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