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West Division

East Division

Series Wrapup

Story

The Montreal Expos and San Diego Padres joined the fraternity of National League ball clubs in 1969, with the Expos taking up residence in the newly-formed N.L. East and the Padres joining the Giants, Dodgers, Reds, Braves, and Astros in the N.L. West.

Atlanta edged out San Francisco and Cincinnati for the first Western Division title, finishing the regular season with a record of 93-69, three games in front of the Giants and four games ahead of the Reds.  Only the Reds’ poor pitching, which surrendered 768 runs to the opposition over the course of the season, prevented them from advancing to the postseason.  Cincinnati featured the league’s most potent offense, topping the circuit with 798 runs scored, 171 home runs, and a team batting average of .277.  First baseman Lee May hit 38 home runs and drove in 110 runs.  Third baseman Tony Perez hit 37 homers, knocked in 122 runs, scored 103 others, and batted .294.  Outfielder Pete Rose finished second in the league with 218 hits, captured his second straight batting title with a mark of .348, and also led the league with 120 runs scored.  Second-year catcher Johnny Bench contributed 26 homers, 90 runs batted in, and a .293 batting average.

The second-place Giants benefited from fine seasons turned in by Juan Marichal, Bobby Bonds, and Willie McCovey.  Marichal finished 21-11, with a league-leading 2.10 ERA and eight shutouts.  He also placed among the league leaders with 299 innings pitched and 27 complete games.  Bonds hit 32 homers, drove in 90 runs, tied for the league lead with 120 runs scored, and stole 45 bases.  McCovey earned N.L. MVP honors by batting .320 and leading the league with 45 home runs, 126 runs batted in, a .458 on-base percentage, and a .656 slugging percentage.  

The Braves had a considerable amount of punch in their lineup as well, and they also featured one of the better pitching staffs in the senior circuit.  Phil Niekro anchored Atlanta’s starting rotation, placing among the league leaders with 23 wins, a 2.56 ERA, 21 complete games, and 284 innings pitched.  He received a great deal of help from Ron Reed, who finished second on the club with 18 wins and 241 innings pitched.  Meanwhile, Hank Aaron led the Braves on offense by hitting 44 home runs, driving in 97 runs, scoring 100 others, and batting an even .300.

However, the New York Mets were the National League’s biggest story in 1969.  After serving as doormats to the rest of the senior circuit the previous seven seasons, the Mets shocked the baseball world by capturing the N.L. East title by a comfortable eight-game margin over the second-place Chicago Cubs, who once led New York by 9 ½ games.  The Mets built momentum over the course of the season, winning 38 of their last 49 games, before sweeping the Western Division champion Braves in three straight games in the NLCS.  They then stunned the heavily-favored American League champion Baltimore Orioles in the World Series, defeating them in five games after losing the first contest in Baltimore.

The Mets were not the most talented team in baseball, but they had excellent pitching, solid defense, and a team chemistry that made them extremely difficult to beat.  New York finished just ninth in the league with 632 runs scored.  Outfielders Cleon Jones and Tommie Agee led the club on offense.  Jones had the finest season of his career, scoring 92 runs and finishing third in the league with a .340 batting average.  Agee led the team with 26 home runs, 76 runs batted in, and 97 runs scored.

The Mets, though, took a backseat to no one in terms of pitching.  They finished a close second in the league with a team ERA of 2.99, and their starting rotation featured three of the senior circuit’s best young starting pitchers.  Gary Gentry won 13 games and compiled an ERA of 3.43.  Jerry Koosman finished 17-9 and placed among the league leaders with a 2.28 ERA.  Staff ace Tom Seaver captured N.L. Cy Young honors and earned a second-place finish in the league MVP voting by leading all N.L. hurlers with a record of 25-7 and placing among the leaders with a 2.21 ERA, 273 innings pitched, 18 complete games, and 208 strikeouts.

The Mets crushed the Braves in three straight games in the first National League Championship Series, outscoring them by a combined margin of 27 to 15.  They continued their miracle run against the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series, defeating a team that won 109 games during the regular season.  After losing the first game in Baltimore, the Mets took the next four contests, with their pitching staff holding the Orioles to a team batting average of just .146.  Jerry Koosman posted two of New York’s victories and compiled an ERA of 2.04.  Tommie Agee hit a homer and made two spectacular catches that saved five runs in New York’s 5-0 Game Three victory.  Ron Swoboda made one of the greatest catches in the history of the Fall Classic to help Tom Seaver earn a 2-1, 10-inning victory in Game Four.  The Mets then overcame an early 3-0 deficit in Game Five to complete one of the greatest upsets in sports history with a 5-3 win.  New York first baseman Donn Clendenon earned Series MVP honors by hitting three home runs and batting .357.

Other outstanding performers, notable events, and points of interest from around the league follow:

• April 14 – The Montreal Expos defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 8-7 in the first major league game played outside the United States.

• August 10 - Citing damage to his right shoulder, Don Drysdale retired from the Los Angeles Dodgers.  He was the last member of the team that played for them in Brooklyn.

• September 22 - Willie Mays hit his 600th career home run during a 4-2 Giants victory over the San Diego Padres.

• September 24 - After seven uninspired losing seasons, the New York Mets clinched the National League East title with a 6-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at Shea Stadium.  Donn Clendenon homered twice against Cardinals starter Steve Carlton in the win.

• October 7 - The St. Louis Cardinals traded Curt Flood to the Philadelphia Phillies in a seven-player deal that also sent Tim McCarver, Byron Browne and Joe Hoerner to the Phillies for Dick Allen, Cookie Rojas and Jerry Johnson.  Flood subsequently refused to report to the Phillies, choosing instead to challenge baseball's reserve clause.  He ended up sitting out the entire 1970 season.

• The National League defeated the American League by a score of 9-3 in the All-Star Game at Washington.  Willie McCovey homered twice for the winning team.

• On August 5, Pittsburgh’s Willie Stargell became the first player to hit a home run completely out of Dodger Stadium.  The titanic blast was later measured at 506 feet.

• Willie Davis of the Dodgers hit safely in 31 consecutive games.

• Bobby Bonds of the Giants established a new major league record by striking out 187 times.

• Bob Moose of Pittsburgh threw a no-hitter against the Mets on September 20.

• Ken Holtzman of Cubs tossed a no-hitter against Atlanta on August 19.

• Montreal’s Bill Stoneman no-hit the Phillies on April 17.

• Cincinnati's Jim Maloney no-hit Houston on April 30; the next day, Houston's Don Wilson no-hit Cincinnati.

• Los Angeles Dodger second baseman Ted Sizemore earned N.L. Rookie of the Year honors.

• The St. Louis Cardinals traded Orlando Cepeda to the Atlanta Braves for Joe Torre.

• Steve Carlton of the Cardinals struck out 19 New York Mets on September 15, but ended up losing the contest 4-3.  Ron Swoboda hit two two-run homers for New York.

• On July 9, Chicago’s Jim Quails singled with one out in the ninth inning to break up a perfect game bid by Tom Seaver.

• Pittsburgh's Matty Alou led the league with 231 hits and 41 doubles.

• Lou Brock led the National League with 53 thefts.

• Roberto Clemente topped the circuit with 12 triples and finished second in the batting race with a mark of .345.

• Bob Gibson led the league with 28 complete games.

• Chicago’s Ron Santo hit 29 home runs, scored 97 runs, batted .289, and finished second in the league with 123 runs batted in.

• Cubs teammate Ferguson Jenkins won 21 games, compiled an ERA of 3.21, threw 311 innings and 23 complete games, and led the league with 273 strikeouts.

Seasons of the National League

1876 · 1877 · 1878 · 1879 · 1880 · 1881 · 1882 · 1883 · 1884 · 1885 · 1886 · 1887 · 1888 · 1889 · 1890 · 1891 · 1892 · 1893 · 1894 · 1895 · 1896 · 1897 · 1898 · 1899 · 1900 · 1901 · 1902 · 1903 · 1904 · 1905 · 1906 · 1907 · 1908 · 1909 · 1910 · 1911 · 1912 · 1913 · 1914 · 1915 · 1916 · 1917 · 1918 · 1919 · 1920 · 1921 · 1922 · 1923 · 1924 · 1925 · 1926 · 1927 · 1928 · 1929 · 1930 · 1931 · 1932 · 1933 · 1934 · 1935 · 1936 · 1937 · 1938 · 1939 · 1940 · 1941 · 1942 · 1943 · 1944 · 1945 · 1946 · 1947 · 1948 · 1949 · 1950 · 1951 · 1952 · 1953 · 1954 · 1955 · 1956 · 1957 · 1958 · 1959 · 1960 · 1961 · 1962 · 1963 · 1964 · 1965 · 1966 · 1967 · 1968 · 1969 · 1970 · 1971 · 1972 · 1973 · 1974 · 1975 · 1976 · 1977 · 1978 · 1979 · 1980 · 1981 · 1982 · 1983 · 1984 · 1985 · 1986 · 1987 · 1988 · 1989 · 1990 · 1991 · 1992 · 1993 · 1994 · 1995 · 1996 · 1997 · 1998 · 1999 · 2000 · 2001 · 2002 · 2003 · 2004 · 2005 · 2006 · 2007 · 2008 · 2009 · 2010  

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
ATL 2026 5460 691 1411 640 .191 195 22 141 59 48 2073 .356 .259 .641 130 34 87
CHN 2059 5530 720 1400 671 .170 215 40 142 30 32 2121 .378 .243 .665 111 46 72
CIN 2132 5634 798 1558 750 .184 224 42 171 79 56 2379 .296 .260 .593 117 47 100
HOU 2016 5348 676 1284 618 .164 208 40 104 101 58 1884 .304 .228 .582 109 40 68
LAN 1995 5532 645 1405 584 .194 185 52 97 80 51 1985 .287 .248 .559 110 33 96
MON 2099 5419 582 1300 542 .195 202 33 125 52 52 1943 .291 .266 .579 132 30 57
NYN 2027 5427 632 1311 598 .188 184 41 109 66 43 1904 .291 .266 .584 105 33 82
PHI 1994 5408 645 1304 593 .168 227 35 137 73 49 2012 .320 .232 .603 119 36 61
PIT 2091 5626 725 1557 651 .180 220 52 119 74 34 2238 .304 .260 .622 128 36 73
SDN 2243 5357 468 1203 431 .171 180 42 99 45 44 1764 .282 .221 .521 122 20 56
SFN 2058 5474 713 1325 657 .204 187 28 136 71 32 1976 .352 .267 .645 121 42 82
SLN 1941 5536 595 1403 561 .246 228 44 90 87 49 1989 .351 .337 .718 112 33 57

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
ATL 383 93 69 1443 893 438 6042 1334 144 94.290 567 631 38 7 42 40 4
CHN 408 92 70 1454 1017 475 6103 1366 118 70.700 540 611 58 18 27 39 4
CIN 470 89 73 1465 818 611 6433 1478 149 97.610 673 768 23 7 44 76 6
HOU 418 81 81 1436 1221 547 6126 1347 111 83.980 574 668 52 9 34 73 9
LAN 352 85 77 1456 975 420 6028 1324 122 50.900 500 561 47 16 31 51 4
MON 461 52 110 1426 973 702 6307 1429 145 96.090 686 791 26 8 21 64 9
NYN 365 100 62 1468 1012 517 6027 1217 119 73.380 487 541 51 16 35 56 8
PHI 398 63 99 1433 921 570 6264 1494 134 74.820 664 745 47 14 21 54 8
PIT 429 88 74 1447 1124 553 6119 1348 96 69.230 580 652 39 5 33 33 13
SDN 484 52 110 1425 764 592 6214 1454 113 88.060 670 746 16 5 25 65 5
SFN 336 90 72 1473 906 461 6187 1381 120 51.130 534 636 71 15 17 54 5
SLN 345 87 75 1459 1004 511 6073 1289 99 79.040 477 540 63 11 26 43 4

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
ATL 2431 7049 5253 1661 135 .970 17337 78 26 0 31
CHN 2451 7279 5215 1896 168 .979 17450 60 54 1.00 11
CIN 2531 7423 5439 1781 203 .947 17579 42 43 1.00 17
HOU 2433 6913 5067 1667 179 .970 17229 66 53 1.00 15
LAN 2438 7298 5281 1868 149 .967 17483 78 42 0 17
MON 2449 7207 5167 1819 221 .953 17115 92 49 0 23
NYN 2483 7260 5401 1725 134 .978 17616 54 47 1.00 7
PHI 2369 7234 5289 1788 157 .954 17206 68 48 0 22
PIT 2473 7111 5100 1829 182 .928 17351 62 49 0 17
SDN 2544 7198 5136 1871 191 .962 17070 75 50 2.00 21
SFN 2489 7517 5358 1959 200 .951 17684 66 44 1.00 19
SLN 2268 7236 5354 1723 159 .977 17519 77 40 1.00 17

West

team W L Att Rk SOP
Atlanta Braves 93 69 1458320 1 893
San Francisco Giants 90 72 873603 2 906
Cincinnati Reds 89 73 987991 3 818
Los Angeles Dodgers 85 77 1784527 4 975
Houston Astros 81 81 1442995 5 1221
San Diego Padres 52 110 512970 6 764

Central

East

team W L Att Rk SOP
New York Mets 100 62 2175373 1 1012
Chicago Cubs 92 70 1674993 2 1017
Pittsburg Pirates 88 74 769369 3 1124
St. Louis Cardinals 87 75 1682783 4 1004
Philadelphia Philies 63 99 519414 5 921
Montreal Expos 52 110 1212608 6 973

Awards

Silver Slugger

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Tagged:
1969 World Series, Bill Stoneman, Bob Gibson, Bob Moose, Bobby Bonds, Cleon Jones, Curt Flood, Dick Allen, Don Drysdale, Don Wilson, Donn Clendenon, Fergie Jenkins, Gary Gentry, Hank Aaron, Jerry Koosman, Jim Maloney, Jim Qualls, Joe Torre, Johnny Bench, Juan Marichal, Ken Holtzman, Lee May, Lou Brock, Matty Alou, Montreal Expos, New York Mets, Orlando Cepeda, Pete Rose, Phil Niekro, Roberto Clemente, Ron Reed, Ron Santo, Ron Swoboda, San Diego Padres, Steve Carlton, Ted Sizemore, Tim McCarver, Tom Seaver, Tommie Agee, Tony Perez, Willie Davis, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Willie Stargell

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