Major League Season Recap 1969

World Series – New York Mets NL over Baltimore Orioles AL 4 games to 1

World Series MVP – Don Clendenon
Babe Ruth Award – Al Weis

ALCS Baltimore over Minnesota 3 games to 0 ALCS MVP –
NLCS New York Mets over Atlanta Braves 3 games to 0 NLCS MVP –

Awards –

Cy Young Award National League Tom Seaver
Cy Young Award American League Mike Cuellar, Denny McLain

MVP Awards –
NL Willie McCovey
AL Harmon Killebrew

NL Rookie of The Year – Ted Sizemore
AL Rookie of The Year – Lou Piniella

Roberto Clemente Award –

All-Star Game – July 23rd 1969 – N.L. 9 over A.L. 3 , played at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium (AL)
AL Starter M. Stottlemyre NL Starter S. Carlton+ MVP W. McCovey+

Roberto Clemente’s first hit of the season easily escapes the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. “Clemente, who had been 0 for 12,” writes Bill Christine of the Pittsburgh Press, “attempted to add some adrenalin to the Pirate attack in the 1st inning when he blasted a Joe Niekro fastball out in the street beyond left field.” The first-frame bomb, however, yields but a short-lived lead. “Billy Williams,” writes Lee Jenkins of the Chicago Daily Defender, “showing off his recently acquired ability to go with the pitch, slammed one into the left field bleachers in the 1st and rookie Don Young performed the same feat good for 2 runs in the 2nd to more than counteract Clemente’s tremendous shot over the left-field stands.” Additional adrenalin – accounting for Pittsburgh’s remaining three runs – is supplied by Clemente’s 5th-inning, bases-loaded single, whereby he will significantly enhance Niekro’s understanding of the phrase “dangerous hitter.” Jenkins writes: “Clemente fired a shot through the middle that knocked Niekro down and raced to second base when Young tried for a one-handed scoop and the ball got through for a two-base error with three runs counting.” By the 7th inning, the Cubs have finally wised up. Jenkins continues: “Hank Aguirreknocked off five Pirates before pinch-hitter Jose Pagan lashed a single to lead off the 7th and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Clemente was given an intentional walk after he refused to bite at three Aguirre wide ones. But the crafty veteran fanned Willie Stargell to escape.”

1969 – Roberto Clemente’s first hit of the season easily escapes the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. “Clemente, who had been 0 for 12,” writes Bill Christine of the Pittsburgh Press, “attempted to add some adrenalin to the Pirate attack in the 1st inning when he blasted a Joe Niekro fastball out in the street beyond left field.” The first-frame bomb, however, yields but a short-lived lead. “Billy Williams,” writes Lee Jenkins of the Chicago Daily Defender, “showing off his recently acquired ability to go with the pitch, slammed one into the left field bleachers in the 1st and rookie Don Young performed the same feat good for 2 runs in the 2nd to more than counteract Clemente’s tremendous shot over the left-field stands.” Additional adrenalin – accounting for Pittsburgh’s remaining three runs – is supplied by Clemente’s 5th-inning, bases-loaded single, whereby he will significantly enhance Niekro’s understanding of the phrase “dangerous hitter.” Jenkins writes: “Clemente fired a shot through the middle that knocked Niekro down and raced to second base when Young tried for a one-handed scoop and the ball got through for a two-base error with three runs counting.” By the 7th inning, the Cubs have finally wised up. Jenkins continues: “Hank Aguirre knocked off five Pirates before pinch-hitter Jose Pagan lashed a single to lead off the 7th and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Clemente was given an intentional walk after he refused to bite at three Aguirre wide ones. But the crafty veteran fanned Willie Stargell to escape.”

5/28/1969 – For the second time in their new life, the Seattle Pilots were involved in a batting out of order situation. This time, the Pilots were the ones that were confused. The Orioles were in town and Pilots’ skipper Joe Schultz changed the lineup after submitting it to the umpires. The revised lineup had differences in the second through sixth spots, including one player substitution. When Dick Simpson went to center field in the top of the first inning, he was considered an unannounced substitution for Don Mincher according to Rule 3.08(a)(3) and legally in the game. Therefore, Simpson was placed into the fourth spot in the batting order (the umpire does not care about fielding positions). The Pilots batted in the revised, incorrect order into the fifth inning. In the bottom of the first, Dick Simpson walked and stole second but was left stranded there by Wayne Comer and Tommy Davis. In the second inning, Gus Gil struck out and Mike Hegan grounded out. Jerry McNertney singled and scored when Ray Oyler homered. McNertney was out of order but Oyler was not so the homer could not be protested and the score was now 4-2 Orioles. In the third, after Tommy Harper walked, the next three batters all made outs. In the fourth inning, the only damage was another single by McNertney. In the fifth, the Pilots had runners on first and second and no one out. It was time for the second place hitter to bat. Simpson (out of order) struck out and then Comer flew out (in the correct spot after Simpson). Davis, the third-place hitter now batting in the sixth spot following Comer, doubled in both runners and Earl Weaver protested that Davis was out of order. Baltimore was ahead 9-2 at the time. Gil was the proper batter at the time but the umpires declared Simpson the proper batter and called him out for the second time in the inning and the second time in three batters. The official order was followed to the end of the game, which was won by the Orioles, 9-5.

1969 – Roberto Clemente’s tape-measure two-run blast ties the game at 3-all after six, en route to a come-from-behind 4 – 3 Pirate win over Houston. “Clemente’s homer – his second in two nights – was a prodigious wallop of some 430 feet that landed about 12 rows up in the steps to the right of the service ramp in center field. In addition to loosening a few boards and frightening small children, it also tied the score at 3-all. Matty Alou was aboard with a walk when Jim Ray tried to fling one pitch too many past the dangerous Clemente. Clemente saw the ball good and he sped up his swing and timed the connection perfectly. Jim Wynn, in center, gave token pursuit of the eighth blast this year off the 34-year-old Puerto Rican hero’s bat. But he’d have needed a ladder to reach the blast which soared far over Wynn’s head.” The Astros wisely do not afford Clemente the opportunity to beat them; his 8th-inning at-bat with 2 outs, the go-ahead run in scoring position and first base open yields the predictable free pass. Ironically, in the 9th, the game’s goat thus far, shortstop Freddie Patek comes up with 2 outs, the go-ahead run in scoring position and first base open; his two-run error had put Pitt in in an early 3 – 1 hole. But manager Larry Shepard, apparently no devotee of the “Hollywood ending”, bats Carl Taylor in his stead. Taylor singles for the 4 – 3 lead and Jim Bunning retires the Astros in order in the bottom of the frame, when Wynn hits a fly ball that sends left fielder Jose Pagan to the fence for the final out.