Monday, November 11, 2013

1969 World Series Fantazy Cards- Game One

For Met fans in 1969, the team just even making the World Series would have sufficed. After years of last place finishes the team went from 9th place in '68 to the big show a year later. It was the impossible dream. They weren't expected to make it through the additional hoop of the Championship Series but they defied all odds and swept the mighty Atlanta Braves.

At this point some fans thought that the team was destined to win. Now they had to beat the Baltimore Orioles, who won it all in 1966 and had improved upon that team. They won 109 games in '69, 12 games more than they did in '66. They swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series, beating both Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. Could Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman, the Mets one-two punch, do any better?

Game one of the 1969 World Series did not start well for the Mets. Don Buford hit New York ace Tom Seaver's second pitch of the game out of the park for a lead-off home run. 

Ron Swoboda had a chance to catch the high drive but came up short. If this was any indication of things to come the Mets were in trouble.

After the game Swoboda said he should have caught the ball. Instead of running back to the wall immediately, he drifted back, and just missed it by inches. He said he was a bit nervous, it being the first inning of a World Series and all. Rocky wasn't known for his glove but sometimes he made the darnedest catches. This one eluded him.

Tom Seaver once again was not at his best. He had strained a calf muscle shagging flys a few days earlier and his leg was not at full strength. Tom's arm was fine but his legs ran out of gas in 5 innings.

After the lead-off homer to Buford he settled down for 4 innings. With 2 out in the 5th, the bottom of the Oriole line-up tapped Tom for a string of singles and a walk. Light hitting Mark Belanger and Baltimore pitcher Mike Cuellar lined RBI singles. Don Buford got around again on a Seaver fastball and pulled it into the same corner as his homer, this time pulling up with a double and driving in the O's 4th run.

The Mets made team history in the 8th. Singles by Donn Clendenon and Jerry Grote with a Ron Swoboda walk in between loaded the bases for Al Weis. For the season Weis batted .215 and drove in a grand total of 23 runs. He stepped up here and was able to lift a fly to left. Clendenon tagged up and breezed across the plate. The Mets had scored their first ever world series run.

With 2 out and 2 on the Mets still had a chance to get back in this game but a possible Met rally was cut down by the superb glove work of Brooks Robinson. Already known as "The Human Vacuum Cleaner" (even though the best display of his fielding prowess was a year away) Brooks swooped in on a Rod Gaspar slow chopper and made a great barehanded play to end the inning.

Baltimore Oriole pitcher Mike Cuellar was excellent.
 He pitched all 9 innings and held the Mets to 6 hits. He even drove in a run.

The Birds easily dispensed with New York in game one and it looked like the team of destiny may have met its' match.

1969 World Series Game One: Entire Game plus pre-game, intros and post game. Look for Chuck McCann in the old classic Right Guard commercials. Mona!?!?
Thanks to classicMLB11

The Ultimate Met Database
MLB Films
Steve's Photography
Sports Illustrated

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