Skip to main content

1969 Was Good For The Other Guys Too

It seems obligatory that I write something about 1969 these days, but I'm wondering how much I can tell you that you haven't already heard before. If you're reading this blog, you probably know the basics about how the Miracle Mets overcame a huge deficit to top the Cubs and win the NL East, than shocked the Orioles to win the World Series.

I was watching a documentary about Ron Santo on TV the other night and it spent a good chunk of time documenting the heartache of the 1969 Cubs. I was already familiar with the basics of that story, but after watching video of a number of victory celebrations, I learned something new.

I would have liked the 1969 Cubs, and the 1969 Orioles as well, because they both had amazin' seasons when it came to walk-off wins.

The 1969 Cubs had 11 walk-off wins, one more than the 1969 Mets did, and if you saw the manner in which they won some of these games, you probably would have been easily convinced that it was meant to be their year.

On April 13, a bases-loaded, two-out walk, and follow-up single by Ernie Banks capped a three-run 9th in a 7-6 win over the Expos.

On May 14, they scored twice in the 9th to beat Johnny Podres and the Padres (yes, really), 3-2. Banks tied that one with a homer and Willie Smith won it with a single.

On June 22, they scored four runs with two outs in the 9th to beat the Expos, 7-6, winning on a walk-off homer by former 1962 Met Jim Hickman. They scored two in the 9th the next day to beat the Pirates, 5-4, on Ron Santo's sac fly. Hickman won another game with a walk-off homer three days after that.

On July 28, they scored twice after having two out with nobody on in the 10th to beat the Giants and Juan Marichal 4-3, overcoming a go-ahead hit by Willie Mays in the top of the inning.

Likewise, the Orioles had their share of absolutely ridiculous victories. Including postseason, they won in walk-off fashion 15 times. No Mets club has ever reached that number.

One of those victories came on a date quite familiar to Mets fans- July 9, 1969. While Tom Seaver was threatening perfection against the Cubs at Shea, the Orioles were finishing a sweep of the Yankees in rather imperfect fashion.

With the score even, 5-5, in the last of the 10th, Boog Powell's one-out hit gave the Orioles a chance to work their magic. With the count 3-2, Powell (a rather large man if you've ever seen him now), took off with the pitch. That paid off handsomely when Brooks Robinson's hit to right field went under the glove of Yankees outfielder Bobby Murcer, allowing Powell to lumber home with the winning run. The win gave the Orioles a rather staggering record of 59-25, part of their romp to an AL championship.

Of course, while I marvel at the walk-off history of these two clubs, there is one important fact to keep in mind.

Neither managed a walk-off win against the 1969 Mets.

True Mets fans who were around in 1969 know...The 24 teams who played in 1969 season tallied 207 walk-off wins (8.6 per team), up significantly from the 141 tallied by 20 teams the previous year (7.1 per team).


How many walkoff losses did the '69 Mets have? I'd look it up myself but I'd feel like I was treading on the maestro's turf.
metswalkoffs said…
Only 4.

May 1 vs Expos (Coco Laboy SF)

August 8 vs Braves (Felipe Alou 1B)

August 31 vs Giants (Jim Davenport BB)

September 3 vs Dodgers (Willie Davis 2B)
What's Amazin' is that three of the walkoff losses came during the period when the Mets were unstoppable at the end of the year--on August 8 they were still somewhat stoppable, but it was close. And Coco Laboy took 'em down at Parc Jarry? Sacre bleu!

Popular posts from this blog

Minutiae Break: Worst Mets Relievers

It occurs to me after 79 straight walk-off related posts and some fatigue still remaining from Saturday's finish that I did promise to bring Metspective on other issues related to the Flushing 9, so I offer this posting up as a "Minutiae Break." This came about after several discussions related to the offhand Dick Tidrow/Danny Graves remark the other day , the conclusion of which indicated that it would be fun to create a list of the worst Mets relievers of all-time. I don't want to step on the territory of other bloggers, like " Faith and Fear in Flushing ," Mets Guy in Michigan " and " Metstradamus ," so I'll tread carefully here, aided by their influence. Should any friends, family members, or fans of these pitchers visit this site, I mean no harm. I'm just here to have a little fun with this topic. The ground rules are as follows: The pitcher must have had a Mets stint as long as Dick Tidrow's (11 games, 15 2/3 innings), for

Walk-Offs in Movies, TV, and Other Places

Note: I'm leaving this post up through the end of the week, a) because I don't have time to pump out something new and b)because I was hoping to build a really good list of entertainment industry if you're looking for something new, check back on Monday or so... Of course, if there's a major trade or move, I'll adjust and try to post something... In the meantime, click on the "Table of Contents" link as well. It has been updated. SPOILER ALERT: Read at your own risk Caught the ending of "A League of Their Own" on one of the movie channels the other day and it got me to thinking that it would be fun to compile a list of walk-offs from movies, television, and other forms of entertainment. Here's the start, and only the start, as I spent about 30 minutes or so thinking it over Help me fill in the blanks by filling out the comments section. "A League of Their Own"-- Racine beats Rockford for the All-American Girls

Didja Ever Notice: How well do you know the bottom of the 10th?

The answers to all of these can be found from a viewing of the 10th inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, or in the comments section of this blog. 1- What was the last name of the Red Sox pitching coach, Bill, who visited the mound to talk to Calvin Schiraldi in the middle of the Mets comeback? His last name is spelled differently from that of a chunky Mets pitcher of the early 1960s. This coach's claim to fame is that he once pitched 84 1/3 straight innings without issuing a walk. 2- The attendance for Game 6 of the World Series was 55-thousand and ____. You can fill in the blank with the last 2 digits being the same as a season that haunts Red Sox fans. 3- This former Met, who teamed with Calvin Schiraldi to pitch badly in the 26-7 loss to the Phillies in 1985, was standing with Bob Stanley in the bullpen during the inning, though Vin Scully noted he was not throwing at that moment. Name him. 4- How much money did each player get for winning the World Series in 1918? 5-