YEAR IN REVIEW : 1969 National League

Off the field...

Apollo 11 astronaut, Neil Armstrong, became the first man to walk on the moon after landing the lunar module, known as the "Eagle" at Tranquility Base on July 16 th . Armstrong made his historic descent to the surface live on television making the now historic statement: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Twenty-one hours and thirty-six minutes later (after conducting several experiments and planting the U.S. flag) the Eagle returned safe and sound to the Columbia for its return flight to Earth on July 24 th .

On the night of August 9 th , several members of a hippie cult led by self-proclaimed messiah Charles Manson brutally murdered actress Sharon Tate and four others in her Beverly Hills mansion. The next evening Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, wealthy owners of a grocery chain, were also brutally attacked in their Los Angeles home. Initially the crimes were not connected even though victims in both cases had suffered from multiple stab wounds and the words "pig" and "Helter Skelter" were written in blood all over both crime scenes.

The Woodstock Music and Art Festival was held at Max Yasgur's dairy farm in Bethel, New York representing the culmination of the counterculture of the 1960's and the high point of the "hippie era." Although 10,000 to 20,000 people were expected, well over 400,000 showed up and crashed the gate as music's biggest names including Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, Joe Crocker, The Who and the Grateful Dead came together for three days of "music, peace and love".

In the American League...

On March 1 st , "The Commerce Comet" also known as Mickey Mantle announced his retirement after eighteen years in professional baseball. During his Hall of Fame tenure with the New York Yankees, "The Mick" batted .298, hit five-hundred thirty-six home runs and appeared in an amazing sixty-five World Series games in which he tallied a record eighteen home runs and forty RBIs.

As Major League Baseball celebrated its Centennial season, two New York Yankees topped the commemorative list of the games greatest. "Babe" Ruth was unanimously crowned as the "Greatest Player Ever" and Joe DiMaggio was christened as the "Greatest Living Player".

Reggie Jackson hit two home runs and drove in a whopping ten runs as the Oakland Athletics regained first place in the American League West with a 21-7 romp over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on June 14 th . Jackson doubled home a run in the first, homered in the third and fifth, singled in two in the seventh and drove in three more with a single in the eighth. The whopping twenty-one run total set a team record that wouldn't be matched until the 2000 season.

In the National League...

In the first regular season Major League Baseball game ever to be played outside of the borders of the United States, the Montreal Expos defeated the visiting St. Louis Cardinals 8-7. Both teams were introduced to the capacity crowd of 29,184 in both English and French Canadian.

St. Louis Cardinals ace Bob Gibson set a National League record on August 16 th (reaching two-hundred strikeouts for the seventh season) after an 8-1 win over the Atlanta Braves.

On May 13 th , Ernie Banks, of the Chicago Cubs, hit seven RBIs (including his one-thousand five-hundredth) with two, three-run home runs and a double during a 19-0 massacre over the San Diego Padres. The blowout tied the mark for the largest shutout margin in the history of the modern National League.

Around the League...

Ted Williams was named Jim Lemon's replacement as manager of the Washington Senators after the Capital's franchise finished in last place with a miserable 65-96 record. "Teddy Baseball" was reported to have signed a five-year contract for $75,000 a season and ten percent in the team's stock.

Both leagues agreed to try the new "designated pinch hitter" rule during spring training, but under two different variations. The American League allowed the optional use of a DPH only for the home team while the National League required home managers to obtain the visiting skipper's approval for the experimental substitution.

Bowie Kuhn, a forty-two year old lawyer whose firm had handled all of the National League's legal affairs was unanimously elected as the new Commissioner of Baseball. Two other top candidates; Mike Burke of the New York Yankees and Charles Feeney of the San Francisco Giants had been previously deadlocked resulting in Kuhn's nomination.

In an effort to prevent an impending strike, Major League Baseball and the Players Association finally settled on a new revised pension plan. The tenure for qualifying was shortened from five years to four and the minimum age requirement was also lowered from fifty to forty-five. The players also agreed to get $5.45 million per year (retroactive to 1959) as well as a percentage of all televised game revenues.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"It was the best stuff I ever had (on September 15, 1969 when he struck out a National League record 19 batters). When I had 9 strikeouts I decided to go all the way, but it cost me the game because I started to challenge every batter." - Steve Carlton

1969 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Houston
148
Cincinnati
.348
Pittsburgh
41
Pittsburgh
231
San Francisco
45
San Francisco
.458
San Francisco
126
Runs
San Francisco
120
Cincinnati
San Francisco
.656
St. Louis
53
Atlanta
332
Pittsburgh
12

1969 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

St. Louis
28
San Francisco
2.10
Cincinnati
90
Houston
29
San Francisco
8
Chicago
273
New York
.781
New York
25

1969 National League

Team Standings

New York Mets 100 62 .617 0
Chicago Cubs 92 70 .568 8
Pittsburgh Pirates 88 74 .543 12
St. Louis Cardinals 87 75 .537 13
Philadelphia Phillies 63 99 .389 37
Montreal Expos 52 110 .321 48
Atlanta Braves 93 69 .574 0
San Francisco Giants 90 72 .556 3
Cincinnati Reds 89 73 .549 4
Los Angeles Dodgers 85 77 .525 8
Houston Astros 81 81 .500 12
San Diego Padres 52 110 .321 41
National League Team Standings

1969 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

San Francisco
711
Pittsburgh
.277
St. Louis
228
Cincinnati
1,558
Cincinnati
171
Cincinnati
.338
Cincinnati
798
Cincinnati
.422
Houston
101
Los Angeles
52
Pittsburgh

1969 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

San Francisco
71
St. Louis
2.94
Fewest Hits Allowed
New York
1,217
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Pittsburgh
96
Fewest Walks Allowed
Los Angeles
420
Cincinnati
44
New York
28
Houston
1,221
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

Did you know that the first regular season Major League baseball game played outside the United States of America occurred on April 14, 1969? It took place in front of 29,184 fans at Parc Jarry in Montreal where the Expos defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 8-to-7.

On April 17, 1969, Bill Stoneman was pitching for the inaugural Montreal Expos and tossed the franchises first no-hit game. Stoneman struck out 8 Phillies, walked 5, and won 7-0 at Connie Mack Stadium.

On September 22, 1969, rookie pitcher Mike Corkins asked his manager Preston Gomez , "Why'd it have to be me?" Gomez replied, "Son, there've been 599 before you." The item in question was none other than the 600th career home run hit by slugger extraordinaire Willie Mays .

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