|January 4||Attorney Jack Reynolds‚ administrator of the new umpires union‚ says an economic agreement has been worked out between the AL and umpires that will avert a strike in 1969.|
|January 6||Umpires Al Salerno and Bill Valentine file a grievance against the AL and its president‚ Joe Cronin. The grievance is filed by the new umpires union with the National Labor Relations Board.|
|January 11||The Cubs obtain veteran reliever Ted Abernathy from the Reds for 3 minor leaguers‚ C Bill Plummer‚ OF Clarence Jones‚ and P Ken Myette.|
|January 21||Stan Musial and Roy Campanella are voted into the Hall of Fame by BBWAA members.|
|January 22||The Expos trade 1B Donn Clendenon and OF Jesus Alou to Houston for OF/1B Rusty Staub. Clendenon‚ however‚ refuses to report to Houston and announces that he is retiring instead. A few days later‚ Clendenon will decide that he would be willing to go to one of several other teams‚ a move which outrages the Astros. It will be April before the issues are resolved.|
|January 29||Washington manager Jim Lemon is fired.|
|January 31||The National Association approves the use of the Designated Hitter for the International‚ Eastern‚ Texas and New York-Pennsylvania Leagues. The rules vary slightly for each league. The Texas League will be the first to use the DH‚ in April.|
The 2 major leagues agree to try an experimental rule change in spring training using a designated pinch hitter‚ but they don’t agree on the implementation (as noted by John Lewis) The American League tells the teams to use the designated PH when they are the home team; the National League gives the home manager the choice of which rules to use‚ but the visiting manager has to agree. The NL had three rules: Rule A allows for a pinch-hitter to bat for the pitcher twice in a game with the pitcher remaining in the game. The pitcher could be used to bat for himself at anytime. An example is a PH batting for the pitcher the first time and fourth time; the pitcher could bat the second at bat; another PH could bat the third time. A pinch-hitter could play defensively‚ if he took the field the next half-inning after batting. The pitcher would bat in the replaced player’s spot. Rule B is the DH rule that will eventually be the standard in the AL‚ except the player could not go in defensively later. Rule C allows for a pinch-runner only twice in a game for the pitcher or PH in rule A or DPH in rule B. The PR can enter defensively at any time‚ even though he appeared twice as a runner. The Mets‚ Giants‚ and Cardinals say that they will not use the rules‚ and the Astros and Reds follow suit.
|February 2||Pitchers Stan Coveleski and Waite Hoyt are voted into the Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee.|
|February 3||To show strength in their bid for a better pension plan‚ 125 players meet in New York City.|
|February 4||Attorney Bowie Kuhn is a compromise choice for commissioner of baseball and is elected on a pro-tem basis.|
|February 21||Ted Williams returns to baseball full-time‚ signing a 5-year contract to manage the Senators.|
|February 25||A pension plan for baseball is agreed on‚ with players to get $5.45 million per year. They also get a reduction in the years necessary to qualify for a pension from 5 to 4‚ retroactive to 1959; a percentage of television revenues; lowered minimum age for drawing a pension from 50 to 45; and other benefits.|
|February 28||After the Montreal Expos trade him in a package to the Houston Astros for Rusty Staub, 1B Donn Clendenon announces his retirement. He eventually rescinds his retirement and baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhm persuades Houston to accept Jesus Alou in place of Clendenon, who remains with Montreal. The trade is pure gold for the Expos, and a bust for the Astros. Staub becomes Le Grande Orange, one of the most popular players in Expos history. In 1969, he will lead the Expos in batting average (.302), slugging (.526), and on-base percentage (.426). Alou, a singles hitter who posted an OBP 28 points below league average throughout his major league career, has a dismal season with Houston, hitting .248 with an OBP (.276) one usually associates with utility infielders of that era. Clendenon will also outproduce Alou while playing a vital role in baseball history. After joining the New York Mets in a mid-season trade, he helps lead the surge that eventually brings the franchise its first World Series championship.|
|March 1||The Yankees’ Mickey Mantle retires.|
|March 6||Two spring training games today use experimental rules. DPHers Ty Cline (Expos) and George Spriggs (Royals) both bat ninth and go 0 for 4 in Fort Myers. John Orsino (Yankees) bats 6th (1 for 4) and Jim French (Senators) bats 9th (0 for 3) in Pompano Beach. Orsino has the first hit as a DPH. Five of the nine games on March 7 use the DPH. The Angels’ Dick Stuart reaches base 4 times against the Padres and the box score has 3 different pinch-runners for him(none scored). Boog Powell is the Orioles’ DPH(hit 9th) and doubles in the 5th. The PR‚ Stanley Martin‚ scores‚ and Powell singles in the winning run in the 7th to beat the Twins‚ 2-1. The DPH idea will be dropped on March 26.|
|March 8||NL President Giles and Commissioner Bowie Kuhn say the Rusty Staub deal stands‚ that Clendenon belongs to the Expos‚ and that Montreal and Houston will have to come to agreement on further compensation.|
|March 13||In addition to this year’s lower mound and tightened strike zone‚ the majors try an experiment ball with 10% more resiliency for a spring training game between the Mets and Tigers in Lakeland. It has an all-rubber center instead of a cork and rubber core‚ and the seams are higher than the regular ball. The Mets’ Don Cardwell surrenders 3 homers in the 4th to Dick McAuliffe‚ Norm Cash‚ and Gates Brown in the Tigers’ 7-4 win. Tomorrow‚ in Phoenix‚ the same ball is used in the Giants 13-1 win over the Angels‚ with Bobby Bonds hitting the only two homers (off George Brunet). The players agree the ball is definitely livelier and sounded louder coming off the bat.|
|March 16||A plane crash in Maracaibo kills 155 passengers including Carlos Santeliz‚ the Venezuelan League Rookie of the Year‚ on his way to the Braves spring training camp. Another fatality is Nestor Chavez‚ enroute to the Giants camp. Chavez (1-0) was 12-5 with Waterbury in 1967‚ including 7 shutouts. Pablo Torrealba was also scheduled to take the flight‚ but missed it‚ and took a later one.|
|March 17||St. Louis trades 1B Orlando Cepeda to Atlanta for C/1B Joe Torre. Torre will knock in 100 RBIs in each of the next 3 seasons topping it off with the MVP Award in 1971.|
|March 26||An indemnity of $540‚000 is paid to the Pacific Coast League for the ML invasion of San Diego and Seattle.|
|March 28||The Cubs purchase Charley Smith from the Giants‚ which had acquired the well-traveled third sacker last December 6. Smith will reinjure his knee and retire after a few at bats.|
|April 1||The Seattle Pilots trade minor league OF Lou Piniella to the Royals for OF Steve Whitaker and P John Gelnar.|
|April 3||Donn Clendenon ends his retirement and joins the Expos‚ signing for $50‚000 per year.|
The Phils send 1B Bill White back to the Cards for infielders Jim Hutto and Jerry Buchek.
|April 7||Bill Singer of the Dodgers is credited with the first official save‚ as Los Angeles defeats Cincinnati 3-2‚ scoring once in the 2nd and twice in the 3rd off Gary Nolan. All the Cincy scoring came in the opening inning when Pete Rose and Bobby Tolan hit Don Drysdale‘s first two pitches for home runs. Rose and Tolan will again hit consecutive homers to open a game in August.|
St. Louis drops their home opener to the Pirates 6-2 in 14 innings.
The Expos get SS Bobby Wine from the Phils as a replacement for P Larry Jackson‚ who retired instead of going to Montreal in the expansion draft. Wine will play regularly for 3 years.
At RFK Stadium‚ 45‚000 fans‚ including President Richard Nixon‚ look on as Ted Williams makes his managerial debut for the Senators. The Yanks spoil it‚ winning 8-4‚ pinning the loss on Camilo Pascual‚ and routing him in the third inning with back-to-back homers by Jerry Kenney and Bobby Murcer. Mel Stottlemyre wins his 3rd straight opening complete game‚ despite giving up 14 hits. Stottlemyre will notch 5 wins this month‚ just the 2nd pitcher (Bob Lemon‚ 1955) in history to record 5 wins in April. Vida Blue‚ in 1972‚ will be the first to win 6. In starting Kenney, Roy White and Bill Robinson, New York fields the first all-African-American outfield in team history. By mid-season, Kenney will switch from centerfield to third base while Murcer moves from third to righfield (and, eventually, to centerfield).
|April 8||Expansion teams Kansas City Royals‚ Montreal Expos‚ San Diego Padres‚ and Seattle Pilots make things look easy by winning their first regular-season games. The Expos win by scoring 11 runs against the Mets to win 11-10. Pitcher Dan McGinn cracks the Expos first (and only) homer‚ off Tom Seaver‚ to help keep the Mets winless for Openers. The host Royals edge the Twins in 12 innings‚ 4-3. Seattle wins‚ 4-3‚ at Anaheim. Mike Hegan hits the first Pilots’ HR‚ a 1st inning solo shot off McGlothlin.|
In the Padres opening night 2-1 victory over Houston‚ the leadoff batter at Jack Murphy Stadium is Astro outfielder Jesus Alou. Brother Matty‚ with the Pirates‚ was the first batter up at the opening of Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium on April 12‚ 1966‚ and Brother Felipe‚ playing for Atlanta‚ was the first batter up when Busch Stadium opened in St. Louis a month later.
In a move to resolve the aborted Rusty Staub-Donn Clendenon trade‚ Montreal keeps first baseman Clendenon and completes the deal by sending pitchers Jack Billingham and Skip Guinn‚ and an estimated $100‚000 to compensate the Astros. Montreal will finally peddle Clendenon to the New York Mets at the trade deadline date. Clendenon will help New York win the N.L. pennant, and then he wins the World Series MVP award following the Mets victory over the Baltimore Orioles
After a long recovery following an August‚ 1967 beaning‚ Tony Conigliaro starts his first game for Boston. His dramatic 2-run 10th-inning HR gives the Red Sox a brief lead‚ and his 12th-inning run wins it‚ 5-4 over the O’s at Baltimore.
In the Opener at Wrigley Field‚ the Cubs trail the Phillies 6-5 with one on in the 11th when Willie Smith hits a pinch homer into the RF bleachers to give Chicago the 7-6 win. The Cubs will not drop out of first place for 155 days. Ernie Banks has a pair of homers for Chicago and is matched by Don Money‘s pair.
|April 9||Billy Williams ties the ML record for doubles in a game with 4 straight in Chicago’s 11-3 win against the Phillies.|
The Royals‚ who debuted with a 4-3 win over the Twins in 12 innings‚ travel further to win by the same score in 17 frames. The Twins final run comes with the score tied 2-2 in the 5th inning‚ when with Roger Nelson pitching‚ Rod Carew steals home for the first time in his career. Billy Martin and Carew had worked on the play in spring training‚ where Carew had twice swiped home. Carew will be 6-6 on attempts before being caught at home.
Johnny Podres‚ out of baseball in 1968‚ makes a brilliant start for San Diego‚ allowing 2 hits in 7 innings in a 2-0 win over Houston. Sisk finishes the shutout as Larry Dierker takes the loss.
|April 10||Bill Freehan smashes two homers-one with the sacks full-to lead the Tigers to a 12-3 win over the Indians. Mickey Lolich beats Sam McDowell.|
Frank Howard bangs a pair of homers‚ giving him 4 in 3 games‚ in the Senators 9-6 win over the Yankees. Fritz Peterson gives 10 hits and 6 runs in taking the loss. For the Yanks‚ Fernandez hits a pair of homers‚ one a grand slam.
|April 11||Before 14‚993‚ Seattle successfully inaugurates ML baseball at Sicks Stadium‚ as Gary Bell defeats Chicago 7-0. The Pilots attract 17‚850 today and will draw just 678‚000 for the season. Scoop Jackson throws out the first ball and will do the same in the Mariners opener‚ in 1977.|
Paul Flesner is baseball’s first DH‚ going to bat in a Texas League game between Dallas-Ft. Worth and Amarillo. He is 2-for-4 with 4 RBIs as the visiting Amarillo Sonics win 8-5 in 11 innings.
|April 12||With the temperature at 39 degrees at Cleveland‚ the Red Sox down the Indians‚ 5-3. Allowing one hit in 4 innings of relief‚ Landis wins his 3rd of the season.|
At Detroit‚ the Yanks Mel Stottlemyre allows just one hit-a 4th inning double by Bill Northrup-in beating Denny McLain and the Tigers‚ 4-0. For the 3rd time in 2 years‚ Northrup saves the Tigers from being the victims of a no hitter.
The Royals split a pair with the Athletics‚ taking the opener‚ 4-1 as Mike Fiore hits the first homer in the Royals’ history. Butler wins over Blue Moon Odom. Nash shuts out the Royals in the nitecap‚ 3-0‚ with Reggie Jackson and Dick Green supplying homers.
|April 13||After two years of arm trouble‚ the O’s Jim Palmer shuts out the Senators‚ 2-0‚ on a four-hitter. It is Palmer’s first appearance for the Orioles since September 19‚ 1967.|
Mike Fiore hits first the HR in history of KC Royals as they beat the Athletics‚ 4-1‚ in game 1 of a twinbill. But the A’s take the nitecap‚ 3-0‚ as Butler has assistance from Moe Drabowsky in the opener‚ while Jim Nash fires the shutout in the nitecap. .
|April 14||Montreal nips St. Louis 8-7‚ as ML baseball comes to Canada. Dan McGinn is the winner at Jarry Park.|
|April 15||At Cincinnati‚ the Reds and Giants battle for 12 innings before the Reds win‚ 11-10. The game is 5-5 at the end of 8 innings‚ and teams score 3 in the 9th and 2 runs in the 10th. Johnny Bench‘s bases-loaded single off Gaylord Perry ends it in the 12th.|
|April 16||The Orioles take first place in the AL East with an 11-8 win at Boston‚ in a game stopped in the last half of the 8th because of rain. Baltimore will remain in 1st place the rest of the season. Billy Conigliaro‚ playing in place of his brother‚ smashes a pair of homers for his first ML hits‚ but Buford‚ Blair and Brooks Robinson answer for the O’s.|
Sal Bando hits the first grand slam in Oakland’s history to lead the A’s to a 6-1 victory over the Angels.
|April 17||Bill Stoneman’s first win as a starter is a no-hitter for Montreal at Philadelphia. Rusty Staub‘s HR‚ 3 doubles‚ and 3 RBI pace a 5-0 win.|
|April 18||The American Association opens the season using the DPH rule‚ which the major leagues dropped near the end of spring training. The DPH will also be used in International League (AAA)‚ the Eastern League (AA)‚ and the Arizona Instructional League. Larry Osborne (Omaha; 0-4‚1 BB‚ 1 run) and John Brandt (0-4) are the ones in Oklahoma City. Denver’s Charles Weatherspoon (1-4) and William Wolff (1-3‚ 1 BB) are the DPHers in Tulsa. Tulsa manager Warren Spahn calls the DPH rule “terrible.” (as noted by John Lewis).|
At Boston, Cleveland righthander Luis Tiant ties an AL record set in 1901 (Dale Gear) by allowing 10 extra base hits as the Red Sox outslug the Indians, 10-7. Tiant (0-3), a 21-game winner last season, allows 5 doubles and 5 homers in 5 2/3 innings. Ken Harrelson has a pair of homers. Harrelson will join the Indians in a trade later during the season.
|April 19||Harmon Killebrew beats the Angels defensive shift by hitting an opposite field 9th inning single through the open right side of the infield to give the Twins a 6-5 win. Rod Carew ties the score in the 7th with a steal of home. The Twins have won 5 straight.|
Boston trades last year’s 1B Ken Harrelson and pitchers Dick Ellsworth and Juan Pizarro to Cleveland for pitchers Sonny Siebert and Vincente Romo and C Joe Azcue.
|April 20||It’s a good thing he can pitch‚ as Red Sox hurler Ray Jarvis strikes out 5 times against Cleveland‚ but wins‚ 9-4.|
|April 21||Jim Palmer wins his 3rd straight‚ allowing 4 hits‚ as the Orioles clobber the Indians‚ 11-0.|
|April 22||In his first ML start‚ Rollie Fingers pitches the A’s to a 7-0 win over the Twins‚ stopping Minnesota’s 7-game win streak.|
|April 23||Mike Cuellar and Denny McLain‚ the two pitchers who will tie for the Cy Young award‚ square off for 10 innings‚ before the Orioles Cuellar wins‚ 3-2. McLain retires 21 straight before Hendricks doubles in the 10th‚ and Cuellar retires 20 straight.|
|April 24||After belting homers his first 2 at bats‚ Reggie Jackson is decked twice by pitches from Woodsen and charges the mound. Reggie gets tossed but the A’s win‚ 6-4‚ over the Twins.|
|April 25||Giants C Jack Hiatt hits a 2-run first-inning HR and a 13th-inning grand slam to pace a 12-8 victory over Houston. Hiatt has 7 RBIs in the game.|
The Sox rally for 2 runs in the 9th to beat the Twins‚ 6-5‚ at Comiskey Park. Minnesota goes ahead in the 8th on a 3-run pinch homer by Graig Nettles. Bradford hits a tremendous HR for Chicago‚ the ball landing on the roof of the LF stands‚ just the 10th player to do it.
|April 26||The Baseball Records Committee says Babe Ruth should be credited with 715 HRs‚ because a hit on July 8‚ 1918 recognized as a triple should have been ruled a HR. The recommendation is ignored.|
The Red Sox beat the Tigers‚ 7-4‚ with Carl Yastrzemski hitting a pair of homers-one a grand slam. Yaz’s blows give the Sox a record for most homers in 10 straight games with 26.
|April 27||Harmon Killebrew hits his 400th HR‚ and the Twins take first place in the AL West by beating Chicago 4-3.|
The Giants sweep Houston 8-5 and 4-3 as Willie McCovey hits 3 HRs in each game. McCovey has 8 HRs for the month.
Led by Frank Robinson‘s 8 RBIs‚ the first place Orioles sweep a pair from the Yankees‚ 6-0 and 10-5. Robby has 2 homers and 4 singles. Cuellar shuts out the Yanks‚ beating Bahnsen (0-5).
Sal Bando drives in 7 runs with 2 homers and a single as the A’s beat the Pilots‚ 13-5. Starter and winner Rollie Fingers needs relief help with 2 out in the 9th.
|April 28||New York’s Fritz Peterson shuts out the Red Sox‚ 1-0‚ stopping Boston’s homer streak at 11 games and a record 27 homers.|
Senators veteran Camilo Pascual gives up a leadoff HR to Dick McAuliffe‚ but that is all the scoring Detroit can muster as they lose‚ 7-1. McAuliffe will try again tomorrow hitting another leadoff HR‚ but Washington will win‚ 5-4.
|April 29||San Francisco’s hit-by-pitch specialist Ron Hunt ties the ML record when nailed 3 times by Cincinnati pitchers. A Bobby Bonds HR in the 13th seals it for San Francisco 4-3.|
|April 30||The Reds Jim Maloney hurls his first 9-inning no-hitter‚ and 3rd overall. He has 13 strikeouts and Bobby Tolan drives in 4 runs as Cincinnati romps over Houston 10-0.|
Against the Seattle Pilots‚ the Twins score 3 in the 5th to go ahead 4-0. Then with the bases loaded‚ they pull off a triple steal with Carew swiping home for the 3rd time this month en route to a 6-4 win. The Twins will pull off two more triple steals in 1969.
|May 1||Houston‚ no-hit the day before by Cincinnati‚ answers back‚ as Don Wilson pitches a 4-0 no-hitter‚ with 13 strikeouts over the Reds. Houston ties an NL record with just one assist. In Wilson’s previous start against Cincinnati‚ on April 22‚ he gave up 6 runs in 5 innings in a 14-0 loss.|
|May 2||Al Lopez (840-650) resigns as White Sox manager for health reasons. Don Gutteridge takes over. The Sox will lose tomorrow‚ 3-1‚ to the Twins in Gutteridge’s first game as skipper.|
|May 4||The Astros tie a ML record with 7 DPs in a 3-1 win against the Giants. Curt Blefary sets a record for 1B by participating in all 7.|
Bob Oliver goes 6-for-6 (4 singles‚ a double and a HR)‚ as the Royals coast over California 15-1. Every KC starter collects a hit and scores a run.
|May 5||The Baseball Records Committee reverses its earlier decision and decides to stay with the pre-1920 rules on sudden death home runs. This rule stated that a team batting last in the 9th or in extra innings could not win by more than one run. Before 1920 if a player hit an outside-the-park home run with a runner(s) on base‚ he was not credited with a home run. Babe Ruth (July 8‚ 1918) and 36 other players “lost” HRs because of the ruling reversal.|
|May 11||Frank Howard hits two homers for the Senators but Don Mincher hits one in the bottom of the 9th for a 6-5 Pilots victory. Diego Segui gets a win for the second straight day. Yesterday the Pilots beat the Senators‚ 16-13‚ on 12 hits and 12 walks.|
|May 12||Cardinal Bob Gibson becomes the 7th NL pitcher to strike out the side on 9 pitches. He does it in the 7th inning of a 6-2 St. Louis win over the Dodgers.|
|May 13||Cubs 1B Ernie Banks has 7 RBI-including his 1‚500th-on 2 3-run homers and a double in Chicago’s 19-0 blowout against San Diego‚ matching the biggest shutout margin in modern NL history. Cubs pitcher Dick Selma is the recipient‚ allowing just 3 hits‚ while Dick Kelley takes the loss. The Pads swapped Selma earlier in the season and he gives the Cubs their 3rd shutout in a row. Banks‚ Williams and Randy Hundley leave after Oliver’s HR in the 6th makes it 14-0‚ and Don Young caps a 5-run 7th with a 3-run homer. Selma’s shutout follows consecutive shutouts by Jenkins and Holtzman.|
With 19‚072 fans on hand‚ the largest Seattle crowd of the season‚ the Pilots beat the Yankees 5-3.
|May 14||Orioles center fielder Paul Blair hits two homers and then makes a sensational catch in the 9th inning to rob Rod Carew of a hit. The Birds win‚ 9-8.|
California and Chicago swap second basemen as Sandy Alomar goes to the Angels and Bobby Knoop to the Sox. P Bob Priddy also goes to California.
|May 15||Willie Horton leaves the Detroit bench during a 2-1 win against Chicago and goes AWOL for 4 days.|
With one out in the 9th‚ Cesar Tovar lines a single to stop the no-hit bid of Baltimore’s Dave McNally. The O’s lefty ends with a one hit‚ 5-0‚ win over the Twins.
|May 16||In the highest-scoring 11th inning ever‚ Seattle scores 6 runs‚ then allows 5‚ but hangs on for a 10-9 win at Boston. Jim Bouton gets the win with 3 shutout innings. Brad Comer has a pair of homers‚ including one in the 11th. Kenworthy adds a homer in the 11th and Petrocelli goes deep in the 11th for the Sox.|
Despite five home runs-3 by Mike Epstein-the Senators lose the White Sox‚ 7-6. Carlos May‘s 10th homer of the year breaks a 6-6 deadlock.
|May 18||Rod Carew steals 2B‚ 3B‚ and home in the 3rd inning of Minnesota’s 8-2 loss to Detroit. Cesar Tovar also steals 3rd and home ahead of Carew‚ and the 2 steals of home in an inning ties a ML record. Tovar pays a price when Mickey Lolich hits him in the head with a pitch in his next at bat.|
Joe Pepitone is the Yankees offense today as the Yanks sweep the Angels‚ 3-1 and 1-0. Pep hits a 3-run homer in game 1 to give Mel Stottlemyre the victory and his game-ending homer in the nitecap off Hoyt Wilhelm hands the victory to reliever Steve Hamilton.
|May 20||At Los Angeles‚ the Cubs beat the Dodgers Don Sutton‚ 7-0. Ken Holtzman is the winner for the second time in two weeks. Chicago hands Sutton his 12th loss in a row against them.|
|May 21||Tom Seaver blanks the Braves 5-0 to even the Mets’ record at 18-18.|
|May 23||Mickey Lolich sets a Detroit record with 16 strikeouts while defeating Andy Messersmith and the Angels 6-3. Mickey Stanley’s grand slam is the difference. Lolich’s mark breaks the record of 15 set by Paul Foytack in 1956.|
Pittsburgh’s rookie 1B Al Oliver ties the ML record with 3 errors in one inning‚ and the Bucs lose 3-0 at San Francisco.
|May 24||Padres rookie 2B John Sipin debuts with a pair of triples‚ only the 4th player to do so‚ in a 7-5 San Diego loss to the Cubs. They are the only triples of his 68-game career. Sipin bangs his three-baggers in the 1st and 4th innings‚ off Ken Holtzman.|
|May 25||The Cardinals tie a NL record with just one assist in Bob Gibson‘s 4-0 win at Los Angeles.|
The Pirates sweep a pair from the Giants as Jim Bunning wins his 200th game in the opener. Bunning strikes out 8 in winning‚ 2-1 over Perry. Mazeroski and Taylor hit homers in the nitecap to back Bob Moose‘s 6-2 win. Taylor’s is his first ML HR.
|May 26||Bill Rigney is fired as manager of the Angels‚ and coach Lefty Phillips is named to succeed him.|
|May 28||In a 7-6 win over Pittsburgh‚ NL HR leader Lee May of the Reds hits a pair‚ garnering a ML-record-tying 6 in 3 straight games (at least one in each). He hit a pair in both the games against the Expos on the 24th and 25th.|
|May 29||With the Braves drubbing the Mets 12-0‚ manager Lum Harris lifts Hank Aaron for another Lum-Mike Lum. Lum hits a pinch double off Al Jackson and takes over in LF as the Braves coast to a 15-3 win. It is the 3rd time in his career that Aaron has been lifted for a pinch hitter.|
|May 30||Reds pitcher Clay Carroll pitches 3 innings of hitless relief and belts a 10th inning home run off Bob Gibson to win at St. Louis‚ 4-3. It is Carroll’s only career homer.|
John Sipin hits a leadoff homer in the 10th inning‚ his first ML HR‚ to give the Padres a 3-2 win over the Expos. It’s the Expos 14th straight loss.
|May 31||The Expos collect just 5 hits off San Diego’s Joe Niekro‚ losing 6-2‚ for their 15th straight loss. Ferrara leads the Padres with a pair of 2 run homers‚ while Coco Laboy homers in the 7th for the Expos only runs.|
Detroit’s Joe Sparma loses his no-hitter against Seattle when Don Mincher doubles with one out in the 9th for Seattle’s only hit. Detroit wins‚ 3-2.
|June 3||Behind the slugging of McCovey and Mays‚ the Giants beat the Expos‚ 9-3‚ handing Montreal its 17th straight loss‚ tying the ML mark for expansion clubs set by the 1962 Mets. McCovey has a 2 run double and he follows a Mays homer in the 4th with one of his own.|
|June 4||With the Twins ahead of the Yankees 3-2 in the 8th‚ Minnesota loads the bases‚ then pulls off their second triple steal of the year. Again‚ it is Carew on the front end‚ his 5th swipe of home this year.|
At Montreal‚ the Expos drop their 18th straight‚ a record for an expansion team‚ losing 5-3 to the Giants.
|June 7||The Washington Senators name Jeff Burroughs the number one pick in the June free-agent draft. The Astros choose J. R. Richard as the 2nd pick‚ and the White Sox follow with 3B Ted Nicholson. Cincinnati picks Ken Griffey on the 29th round‚ while Kansas City‚ with a record 90 picks‚ takes Al Cowens with their 84th choice. The Dodgers select Bill Seinsoth on the first round after selecting him on the 6th round in 1968: the promising lefty slugger is killed in a car accident in September. With the 13th pick‚ the Red Sox take University of Minnesota’s Noel Jenke‚ who is also drafted by the Chicago Black Hawks and the Minnesota Vikings (12th round). He’ll never make the majors (Pawtucket in 1971 is the highest) but he will play 4 years in the NFL. Montreal picks Tony Scott on the 71st round and Al Cowens‚ who will play for 13 years in the majors‚ lasts until the 75th round (Royals).|
|June 8||The Expos snap a 20-game losing streak as Jerry Robertson wins his first ML game‚ 4-3 at Los Angeles. Staub and Jones homer for the Expos who end their losing streak 3 short of the record.|
The White Sox trade P Bob Locker to the Pilots for P Gary Bell. Bell has rung up his best games‚ and he will prove a disaster in Chicago.
Mickey Mantle Day in New York. With 60‚096 fans on hand‚ Mantle’s number 7 is retired and plaques he exchanges with Joe DiMaggio will hang on the CF wall at Yankee Stadium. DiMaggio’s plaque comes as a surprise to the Yankee Clipper. The Yankees then sweep the White Sox 3-1 and 11-2.
|June 9||After President Johnson declares this a national day of mourning in memory of the assassinated Robert Kennedy‚ the Reds’ players threaten to boycott today’s doubleheader with the Cardinals. Led by Milt Pappas and Vada Pinson‚ the team‚ by a slim majority‚ votes not to play. A very upset GM Bob Howsam and manager David Bristol call for 9 volunteers to play. Pete Rose‚ Tommy Helms‚ and Jim Maloney leave the clubhouse and shortly afterwards the rest of the team follows. The Reds take an 8-0 lead after 4 innings before the Birds lay 10 runs in the 5th to complete the scoring. It’s a reverse in the nitecap as the Cards take a 6-1 lead‚ and the Reds score 5 in the 5th to tie‚ and once in the 12th inning to win‚ 7-6.|
Mickey Lolich‘s 16 strikeouts in 9 innings ties the Detroit record he set May 23rd‚ but the Tigers drop a 3-2‚ 10-inning decision to Seattle. Pat Dobson is the loser. The only run off Lolich is a leadoff HR by Dick Simpson on the first pitch of the game.
|June 11||Maury Wills returns to Los Angeles with OF Manny Mota. IF Paul Popovich and OF Ron Fairly are traded to Montreal. The Expos then send Popovich to the Cubs for OF Adolfo Phillips and P Jack Lamabe. Adolfo‚ popular with his teammates shakes hands with everyone while leaving‚ except manager Leo Durocher.|
Red Sox outfielder Joe Lahoud bangs out three homers to help beat Minnesota‚ 13-5. Lahoud’s efforts cure Tony Conigliaro‘s neck ailment and Lahoud will be back on the bench for the game on the 13th against Oakland as Tony C returns to the lineup.
|June 12||John Briggs hits a leadoff homerun off Bill Singer for the game’s only score as the Phillies beat the Dodgers‚ 1-0. It is Briggs’ first homer of the year.|
|June 14||With a 21-7 rout of the Red Sox at Fenway Park‚ the Oakland A’s regain first place in the AL West. Reggie Jackson hits 2 HRs and drives in 10 Oakland runs. Reggie doubles home a run in the 1st‚ homers in the 3rd and 5th‚ each time with Reynolds on base‚ strikes out with the bases loaded in the 6th‚ and singles in 2 with the sacks full in the 7th. Reg drives in 3 with a single in the 8th on a hit that he could easily have stretched into a double‚ but he paused to admire it thinking he had a homer. Odom is the easy winner. The 21 runs is a team record that won’t be matched until 2000.|
The Yankees trade OF Tom Tresh to the Tigers for OF Ron Woods.
|June 15||The Mets help their power needs by adding 1B Donn Clendenon. The 33-year-old had refused a January trade that would send him from Montreal to Houston‚ but agrees to go to New York. The Expos receive Steve Renko‚ Kevin Collins‚ and 2 minor leaguers. The Expos also purchase P Dick Radatz from the Tigers.|
Cubs SS Don Kessinger sets a NL record with his 54th straight errorless game to start a season‚ but Chicago loses 7-6 to start a doubleheader split at Cincinnati.
The Red Sox send C Joe Azcue to California for Tom Satriano. It’s Azcue’s 3rd team this year.
|June 16||In the first inning against the Angels Tom Murphy‚ Rod Carew and Tony Oliva pull off a double steal of 2B and 3B. On the next pitch the two pull off another double steal‚ Carew’s 6th swipe of home on the year to tie the AL record. The Twins run to an 8-2 win over the Angels.|
At Milwaukee County Stadium‚ Chicago’s Billy Wynne lives up to his name‚ recording his first ML victory‚ defeating the Seattle Pilots‚ 8-3. The Sox are playing 20 home games in the Brew City this year.
|June 17||Behind a complete game shutout by John Hiller‚ the Tigers roll to an 8-0 win against Mel Stottlemyre and the Yankees. Bill Freehan solos while Mickey Stanley hits a 3-run homer. Ike Brown makes his debut taking over at 2B in the 8th for McAuliffe. Brown is the last Negro Leaguer to break into the major leagues and joins other vets of that league: Aaron‚ Mays‚ Banks‚ Lou Johnson‚ and Paul Casanova.|
|June 19||Dave McNally goes to 10-0‚ pitching a 2-hitter and shutting out the Senators‚ 3-0. President Nixon arrives at the park in time to see the Orioles snap a scoreless tie in the 8th.|
At Chicago‚ the White Sox come from behind three times to beat the Seattle Pilots‚ 13-10. Trailing 10-9 in the 7th the Sox load the bases and score the tying run on an error. Without swinging a bat‚ they score 3 more: Bob Locker throws a wild pitch and C Gerry McNertney’s wild return throw sails into RF allowing 2 more to tally.
|June 20||At Fenway Park, the New York Yankees Joe Pepitone loses a first inning grand slam off Mike Nagy when rain washes the game out a batter later.|
|June 21||Minnesota scores a club-record 11 runs in an inning‚ the 10th inning at Oakland‚ and sets ML record for runs in the 10th‚ in winning 14-4. The Twins send 16 batters to the plate in the frame garnering 8 hits‚ 4 walks‚ and 3 errors. Killebrew’s 3-run homer is the big blow. Minnesota’s 11 match the New York Yankees‘ 12th inning of July 26‚ 1928‚ for most runs for one club in extra innings‚ and shatters the previous high for the 10th inning of 8 runs. The A’s add a run of their own in the 10th to set a record (12) for runs in the 10th by 2 clubs. Yesterday‚ Oakland won‚ 3-2‚ in 14 innings.|
Willie Horton clubs 2 homers‚ one a grand slam‚ and drives in 6 runs to power the Tigers to a 9-5 win over the visiting Senators. Willie also gets nabbed by second baseman Tim Cullen on a hidden ball trick in the 5th. Mickey Lolich (8-1) is the winner‚ allowing just 4 hits‚ including a pair of homers.
At Fenway‚ the Yankees and Red Sox split an exciting pair of games in a day-night separate admission matchup. 12‚453 watch the opener where the Yankees score 3 runs in the 11th inning to take a 5-2 lead‚ only to see the Sox score 4 times to win. Thomas drives in the tying and winning runs. Jerry Kenney has a pair of stolen bases in the game‚ but is nabbed on the hidden ball trick by 1B George Thomas (as noted by Bill Deane‚ this is one of the few times in history that two hidden ball tricks have been pulled off on the same day). New York wins the nitecap‚ 6-3‚ on Roy White‘s bases loaded triple in the 9th.
|June 22||An AL record-tying‚ 3 straight‚ 2-out HRs by Ted Kubiak‚ Reggie Jackson‚ and Sal Bando in the 3rd inning power a 7-3 Oakland victory over Minnesota in the first of 2 games. Bando also homers in the first to back Dobson’s win over Jim Kaat. Katt gets a save in the nitecap as Jim Perry squeezes home Oliva with the winning run in the 13th. Twins win‚ 4-3.|
Dave Leonhard (5-0)‚ who joins the Orioles on a weekend leave from the National Guard‚ pitches a 3-hit complete game over the Indians to win‚ 6-0. In the opener‚ the Indians win 3-2 behind Sam McDowell.
|June 23||The Reds Jim Merritt allows 2 hits in shutting out the visiting Padres‚ 5-0.|
|June 24||Richie Allen is fined $2‚500 and suspended indefinitely when he fails to appear for the Phillies twi-night doubleheader game with the Mets. Allen had gone to New Jersey in the morning to see a horse race and got caught in traffic trying to return. He will stay suspended until July 20. Allen picked up a $1000 fine in May when‚ for two straight days‚ he reportedly arrived at the ballpark after the game had started. Without Allen‚ the Phils drop a pair‚ 2-1 and 5-0. Larry Hisle‘s homer in the opener off Tom Seaver is the only Phils score. McAndrew is the winner in the nitecap‚ allowing 2 hits in 8 innings.|
The White Sox sweep a pair from the Pilots‚ winning 6-4 and 7-6 with reliever Wilbur Wood winning both games. In game 2‚ Bill Melton hits 3 consecutive homers‚ in the 2nd‚ 4th and 6th innings‚ but it takes a homer by Herrmann in the 9th to win it. Reliever Wilbur Wood is the winner in both games‚ giving up a hit in 3 2/3 innings in game 1 and a hit in 2 innings of game 2. Jim Bouton pitches in both games for Seattle without allowing a run in 3 2/3 innings.
|June 25||The Mets (14) and Phillies (13) set a NL record for ineptitude by striking out 27 times in the first 9 innings of a 10-inning game. The Phils win 6-5 when rookie Dave Watkins triples and scores in the 10th. Watkins‚ who replaced Cookie Rojas when he was thumbed in the 5th‚ hits his first ML homer as well. Palmer strikes out 9 in 4 1/3 innings for Philley‚ while Nolan Ryan K’s 10 in 6 1/3 innings.|
|June 27||Cubs southpaw Ken Holtzman retires the first 20 batters‚ before the Cards erupt for 2 runs in the 7th and one in the 8th to win‚ 3-1. Steve Carlton (8-5) strikes out 12.|
|June 28||After ending their 11-game losing streak yesterday‚ San Diego suffers its second 19-0 shutout of the season‚ as the Dodgers‚ behind Don Drysdale‚ match the NL-record shutout margin. The Dodgers score 10 in the 3rd to make it easy. Steve Arlin is the loser. Seven batters have 2 ribbies for the Dodgers‚ with no one topping that.|
Cleveland beats the visiting Yankees‚ 7-3‚ despite a hidden ball trick by NY SS Gene Micheal on Zoilo Versalles in 6th.
|June 29||On Billy Williams Day in Chicago‚ the Cubs outfielder passes Stan Musial‘s NL record for consecutive games played (896). The Cubs sweep the Cardinals 3-1 and 12-1 before 41‚060.|
The Reds score 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th to tie the Giants at 6 apiece‚ then win in the 10th‚ 7-6‚ when Chico Ruiz hits a bases loaded single.
Tony Oliva collects 8 straight hits in the Twins’ twinbill split with the Royals. Kansas City takes the opener‚ 7-2‚ behind homers by Fiore and Oliver. Oliva flied out his first time up‚ then stroked 3 singles. In the Twins 12-2 win in game two‚ Oliva hits 2 homers‚‚ a double and two singles‚ driving in 5 runs.
|July 2||Reds hurler Jerry Arrigo ties a NL record by hitting 3 Braves in the 2nd inning of a 9-4 Atlanta win. Reds hurlers plunk two more and the Braves set a post-19th century ML record of 5 hit batters in one game. It won’t be matched till April 19‚ 2000.|
|July 3||At Los Angeles‚ Lee May hits a 2-run homer in the 11th and the Reds beat the Dodgers‚ 4-3. For May‚ second in the NL to McCovey (27) in dingers‚ it is his 23rd homer‚ matching his birth date and uniform number (his younger brother Carlos will also have his birth date as his uniform number) Granger‚ the 3rd Red pitcher in the 11th‚ stops the Dodger rally.|
|July 4||The Dodgers take first place in the NL West by sweeping a doubleheader against the Braves in Los Angeles‚ winning 6-7 and 7-3.|
At Montreal‚ the Phillies lose their 1st road game‚ 8-5‚ after 9 straight wins.
|July 5||Minnesota regains the AL West lead behind the pitching of Jim Perry and a 13-1 rout of Oakland at Metropolitan Stadium.|
AL East leader Baltimore breaks a 3-game losing streak as Dave McNally (12-0) wins his 14th straight game 9-3 at Detroit. Detroit OF Mickey Stanley plays his 220th straight errorless game and C Bill Freehan picks Paul Blair off 3B unassisted. Blair‚ on third with a triple‚ strolls too slowly back to the bag after the bat flies out of the hands of Frank Robinson.
|July 8||With 3 runs in the 9th inning‚ the Mets beat the Cubs 4-3‚ cutting Chicago’s lead in the NL East to 4 games. Ron Santo rips into CF Don Young for two misplays in the OF. Santo will apologize tomorrow for criticizing Young‚ who had left early and didn’t take the team bus. Santo will get booed in his first game back at Wrigley.|
|July 9||With one out in the 9th‚ Chicago’s Jimmy Qualls bloops a single to left-CF‚ the only blemish on Tom Seaver‘s 4-0 near-perfect win before a record crowd (59‚083) at Shea Stadium.|
With the Twins hosting Kansas City‚ the Royals Bob Oliver attempts to steal 2B with Ellie Rodriguez at bat. Catcher John Roseboro pushes Rodriguez’s bat out of the way and his throw to 2B nails Oliver. After huddling 8 minutes with his umpire crew‚ home plate ump John Rice declares Rodriguez out for interference and orders Oliver back to 1B‚ though (as author Rich Marazzi points out) the rule states that an out nullifies an interference call. The Royals win‚ 4-3. Killebrew accounts for all the Twins scoring with a homer.
President Nixon watches the Senators for the 4th time this season‚ and they finally win one for him‚ beating the Indians‚ 3-0‚ behind Joe Coleman’s 4-hitter.
|July 10||The Cubs score 5 runs in the 5th inning to beat the Mets‚ 6-2‚ behind Bill Hands. The win halts the Mets’ seven-game win streak and leaves the New Yorkers in 2nd place by 4 games.|
|July 11||The Red Sox swat the Orioles twice‚ winning 7-4 and 12-3. Reggie Smith is 7-for-9 and stretches his hit streak to 19 games. Yastrzemski has a homer in each game as the Red Sox total 22 hits in the nitecap‚ including 5 by Mike Andrews. Boston’s outfield has 12 hits in game 2 to match the AL record.|
Harmon Killebrew hits a pair of homers and a double to boost his RBI total to an AL-high 90. The Twins beat the Pilots‚ 9-2.
Fergie Jenkins and the Cubs lose to the Mets‚ 1-0. For Jenkins‚ it is his 4th 1-0 loss this year.
|July 13||Undefeated O’s ace Dave McNally wins his 13th but needs relief help in subduing the Red Sox‚ 6-3. Lonborg‚ making his first start since breaking his toe June 21‚ takes to loss. Conigliaro has a pair of homers and Smith stretches his hit streak to 20 games.|
In the 3rd meeting between the two brothers‚ San Diego’s Joe Niekro defeats his brother Phil of the Braves‚ 1-0. Joe is 2-1 over Phil.
|July 14||At Wrigley‚ the Cubs top the Mets 1-0 to give Bill Hands (11-7) the win over Tom Seaver (14-4). Billy Williams singles home the winner‚ boosting the Cubs lead to 5 1/2 games. After the last out‚ Ron Santo jumps up and clicks his heels‚ igniting a roar from the crowd. The Mets think it’s bush.|
Joe Coleman posts his 2nd straight shutout and drives in 2 runs to defeat the Tigers‚ 3-0‚ in Washington. A crowd of 23‚831 pushes the Senators attendance to 553‚506‚ exceeding the club’s 1968 attendance of 542‚042.
|July 15||The Mets rough up Fergie Jenkins for 3 HRs‚ including Al Weis‘s 2nd in 2 days‚ to beat the Cubs 9-5. The Cubs now lead New York by 3 1/2 games. At the end of the game Seaver jumps out of the dugout and clicks his heels several times. The Mets will win tomorrow as well.|
Reds OF Lee May hits 4 homers against the Braves in a doubleheader split. May hits a pair in each game driving in 5 runs in each. The Reds lose the lidlifter‚ 9-8‚ then take game two‚ 10-4.
With President Nixon attending his 5th game of the season‚ the Senators beat the Tigers again‚ 7-3. The Tigers pull off the first triple play of the year when Brinkman grounds to 3B Don Wert. Cullen‚ hitting .206‚ drives in 4 runs with a single‚ double and HR.
Reggie Smith collects 5 straight hits in the opener‚ stretching his hit streak to 21‚ and leading the Red Sox to 7-6 win over New York. He’ll gets another hit in the nitecap‚ a 41 win by New York’s Stan Bahnsen (5-10)‚ but his hit streak will stop tomorrow.
|July 16||After White Sox lefty Jerry Nyman walks in a run with the bases loaded‚ Rod Carew steals home for the 7th time‚ as the AL-West leading Twins sweep a twin bill‚ winning 9-8 and 6-3 from the White Sox. Carew ties Pete Reiser‘s ML record for steals of home in a season‚ a record since given back to Ty Cobb (8 steals in 1912) in 1991 after further research.|
Despite 4 homers by Montreal‚ the Pirates beat the Expos‚ 8-7‚ scoring 3 in the 8th and 3 in the 9th. The Pirates only homer comes in the 8th innings with Matty Alou on 2B and Dan McGinn pitching‚ when Willie Stargell splashes a pitch over the RF fence into the municipal swimming pool at Jarry Park.
|July 17||Sal Bando is 5-for-5 and drives in the first 4 runs in the A’s 8-2 win over Seattle. Don Mincher drives in both runs off Catfish Hunter (8-7).|
Perennial Gold Glove winner Jim Kaat makes 3 errors but his Minnesota Twins still win over Chicago‚ 8-5.
|July 18||Red Sox pitcher Ray Jarvis drives in 2 runs and beats the Orioles‚ 6-1. The only score for the O’s is a homer by Don Buford with May on 1B. May holds up to watch Conigliaro fall into the RF stands in a vain attempt to catch the drive and Buford passes May. Mays scores but Buford is called out and is credited with a single.|
Tommy John scatters 8 hits in the White Sox 6-1 win over the Royals. The Sox outfield records no putouts behind John.
At Crosley Field‚ the Astros take a 9-0 lead after batting in the 6th‚ only to lose‚ 10-9. The Reds score a run in the 6th‚ 2 in the 7th‚ and tie it with 6 in the 8th. Cincy wins it in the 11th when Ted Savage drives in a run off Jack Billingham.
|July 19||Phillie Dick Allen‘s suspension ends‚ but he incurs a $12‚000 fine.|
The Twins and Pilots suspend a 16-inning game at 7-7.
At War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo‚ a knife-wielding gang takes over the club house during batting practice. The International League game is postponed due to “threatening weather.”
|July 20||San Francisco’s Gaylord Perry connects for his first hit of the year‚ and his first ML homer to beat the Dodgers‚ 7-3. The victim of Perry’s dinger is Claude Osteen. Last year‚ Alvin Dark had remarked to sports writer Harry Jupiter about Perry’s hitting‚ “They’ll put a man on the moon before he hits a home run.” Perry’s homer comes about 20 minutes after the club house receives word that Neil Armstrong has set foot on the moon.|
Jim Perry does his brother one better by winning two games today in Minnesota’s sweep of the Pilots. Playing two more innings to complete yesterday’s suspended game‚ the Twins score 4 runs in the 18th to win‚ 11-7‚ then follow with a 4-0 win. Perry tosses 11 innings of shutout ball to win the pair. The loser in both games is John Gelnar. In the extra inning game‚ the 2 teams strand a ML record 44 runners‚ with the Twins contributing 23 (The Mets and Cards will leave 45 runners on during a September 11‚ 1974 marathon). The 2 wins means the Twins go into the All-Star break with a 4 game lead over the A’s in the AL West.
Atlanta blanks San Diego 10-0 to grab a one-game lead over Los Angeles and San Francisco in the NL West.
In an American Association game‚ Denver and Oklahoma City set a league record by leaving 40 men on base‚ 20 by each team.
|July 21||A gala All-Star Game banquet in Washington is one of baseball’s great events. An all-time team and all-time living team is announced. Babe Ruth is selected Greatest All-Time Player‚ and Joe DiMaggio‚ Greatest Living Player.|
|July 22||For the first time‚ the All-Star Game is postponed due to rain.|
|July 23||Willie McCovey hits 2 HRs as the NL beats the AL 9-3 for its 7th straight All-Star Game win. Mel Stottlemyre starts for the AL when Denny McLain is late arriving from a dental appointment.|
|July 24||At Wrigley‚ Ken Holtzman tops Don Sutton for the 4th straight time-three this year-as Chicago beats the Dodgers‚ 5-3. For a frustrated Sutton‚ it is a Cubs-record 13th straight loss to Chicago stretching back to his rookie year.|
|July 25||Tony Conigliaro of the Red Sox suffers a wrenched back while hitting a HR against the Seattle Pilots. The injury forces him to walk slowly around the bases before being replaced. The Red Sox win 7-6.|
|July 27||Seattle suffers another heartbreaker‚ losing 5-3 to Boston in 20 innings at Sicks Stadium. Joe Lahoud hits a 2-run HR in the top of the 20th for Boston‚ and Tommy Harper matches in the bottom of the inning for the losers. Jim Lonborg is the winner.|
In the team’s biggest shutout victory ever‚ Baltimore routs the White Sox‚ 17-0‚ as Jim Hardin wins over Billy Wynne. Hardin allows just two hits while the Birds bang out 20‚ good for 39 total bases. Frank Robinson drives in 5 runs and hits a pair of homers.
Broadway producer David Merrick opines in the New York Times on what he told Yankee prexy Michael Burke on Opening Day: Nude players was the only thing that could save the Yankees. It would increase Ladies Day attendance,he jokes. Getting serious, Merrick also writes that baseball needs a two-platoon system on defense and offense a la football and unlimited substitution. And off the field, Merrick thinks it needs more color. “There’s not enough showmanship in baseball. It is show business, isn’t it? I don’t think baseball is dead by any means. But it needs things. In the theatre we’re always thinking of the audience. But in baseball they’re unmindful of the audience. . . . I like the idea of having a pinch hitter for the pitcher, one of the things they were trying this spring.”
|July 29||Yankee reliever Jack Aker‘s string of 33 scoreless innings comes to an end as the A’s rally for 3 runs to top the Yankees‚ 6-5. Vida Blue‚ the A’s starter‚ receives credit for his first ML victory.|
|July 30||Its a bad day for the Mets at Shea. In the 1st of 2 games‚ Houston scores 11 runs in the 9th inning‚ 8 coming home on grand slams by Jimmy Wynn and Denis Menke‚ to trounce the Mets 16-3. This is the first time this century in the NL that 2 grand slams have come in the same inning‚ with Mets pitchers Cal Koonce and Ron Taylor teeing up the honors. (the last time in the AL was July 18‚ 1962) Taylor also serves up a single to Houston relief P Fred Gladding‚ the only hit of Gladding’s career in 63 ML at bats and 450 games. Game 2 is no different as the Astros tally 10 runs in the 3rd inning to thrash the Mets‚ 11-5. Curt Blefary triples with the sacks full and pitcher Larry Dierker (13-8) homers with a man on.|
Using 5 homers‚ the Braves thrash the Phils‚ 6-3‚ in game 1. Alou and Aaron homer and Bob Tillman‚ hitting .187‚ hits three in a row. Aaron’s blast is the 537th of his career and moves him past Mantle on the all-time list. The Phils win the nitecap‚ 4-3. Dick Allen homers in the 2nd inning and follows a Callison homer in the 8th with his 2nd shot of the game.
|August 1||Dick Williams pulls Carl Yastrzemski from the Boston lineup after one at bat and fines him $500 for “dogging it.” Jim Lonborg allows just 3 hits over 8 innings‚ but the A’s rally in the 9th for 3 runs and beat the Sox‚ 4-3.|
|August 2||At St. Louis‚ the Cards take a 7-1 lead over the Dodgers‚ and stagger to a 7-6 win. It’s the Redbirds’ 6th straight win and 13th in the last 15 games. Vada Pinson has a sac fly but no hits for the Cards‚ ending his 22-game hitting streak.|
|August 3||The Twins Rich Reese‚ batting for Jim Kaat‚ pinch-hits a grand slam off the Orioles’ Dave McNally in the bottom of the 7th ending his 17-game winning streak and giving the O’s ace his first loss of the year. The Birds went into the 7th inning with a 1-0 lead. McNally‚ now 15-1‚ loses 5-2 to Kaat.|
The Reds tally 10 runs in the 5th inning and smack 25 hits in the game to just beat the Phillies 19-17 at Connie Mack Stadium. With the 10-run 5th they take a 16-9 lead‚ and add another pair in the 6th. The Phils counter with 7 runs in the 6th. Johnny Bench is the high man for the Reds with 5 hits.
|August 4||The Reds win another squeaker‚ this time 1-0 over the Mets at Crosley Field. Jim Maloney (5-2) allows 2 hits and beats Jerry Koosman.|
|August 5||Consecutive HRs in the 5th by Dave Marshall‚ Ron Hunt‚ and Bobby Bonds highlight the first of 2 San Francisco wins at Philadelphia. SF wins‚ 6-2‚ then win the second game‚ 5-3‚ to regain first place in the NL West by one-half game.|
In the 7th inning‚ Pirate Willie Stargell hits the first home run completely out of Dodger Stadium. The 512-foot blast (another account has 480 feet) breaks a deadlock and comes in an 11-3 Pittsburgh rout of Los Angeles. The Bucs score 7 in the 9th‚ climaxed by a Mazeroski 2-run homer.
|August 6||Jim Merritt pitches the Reds back into first place in the NL West with a 3-2 win against the Mets.|
Twins manager Billy Martin punches out his P Dave Boswell after a scuffle between Boswell and teammate Bob Allison. Boswell is hospitalized and requires 20 stitches. The Twins win today‚ 3-1‚ behind Jim Perry‘s 7th straight win.
|August 7||Phils’ manager Bob Skinner quits saying he had little front office support in his attempts to discipline slugger Dick Allen. Coach George Myatt will manage the team for the rest of the season.|
|August 8||Hot-hitting Manny Sanguillen collects a single‚ double‚ and triple to lead the Pirates to a 7-1 win over the Padres. Sanguillen is 13-for his last-26. Bob Veale allows 11 hits but strikes out 10 for the win.|
Three-run homers by Tom Tresh and Willie Horton allow the Tigers to sweep a pair from the White Sox‚ 7-3 and 9-7. Tresh’s homer comes in the 8th inning of the Friday nitecap. Rookie of the year candidate Carlos May has 2 hits in the 2nd game‚ his last before going on weekend Army reserve duty at Camp Pendleton‚ California. While there‚ May suffers a serious injury when a mortar misfires and blows off most of his right thumb. May‚ hitting .281 with 18 homers‚ will have extensive skin grafts and surgery and will return to play 150 games and hit .285 next year. His HR output will drop to 12.
|August 9||The Giants purchase relief P Don McMahon from the Tigers. Tomorrow‚ he’ll give up 4 runs in the 9th as the Giants lose‚ 7-4‚ to the Cards.|
|August 10||Mike Cuellar’s (15-9) string of 35 straight batters retired is ended by Cesar Tovar‚ who also spoils Cuellar’s no-hit bid in a 2-0 win against the Twins. Tovar has the only hit in a game for the 3rd time‚ and the 2nd time this season.|
Don Sutton breaks his 13-game losing streak to the Cubs with a 4-2 win at Los Angeles‚ but needs relief help to do it. Sutton tops Ken Holtzman‚ who handed Sutton his last four losses to Chicago. It was one short of the most consecutive losses by any pitcher to one club in ML history‚ and is the NL record for straight losses to a team from the start of a career. Sutton will close out his career with a record of 18-20 versus the Cubs.
|August 11||Don Drysdale retires because of damage to his right shoulder. Drysdale is the last Brooklyn Dodger active with the Dodgers. Bob Aspromonte (1 AB)‚ who retires in 1971‚ will be the last active Brooklyn Dodger member.|
|August 12||Citing “personal problems‚” Yankees 1B Joe Pepitone goes AWOL.|
Pirate Jose Pagan‘s 2nd pinch-hit HR in consecutive appearances ties the ML record‚ but the Giants win 6-3 at Candlestick.
|August 13||Baltimore’s Jim Palmer leaves no doubt about his comeback with a 8-0 no-hitter against Oakland. Reggie Jackson‚ leading the AL with 42 HRs‚ walks 3 times‚ as the A’s drop 2 games behind the Twins in the West. Palmer‚ now 11-2‚ pushes the O’s lead to a comfortable 141?2 games.|
Bill Hands pitches a complete game 4-2 win over San Diego. Chicago now has a seemingly comfortable 8 1/2 game lead.
Commissioner Bowie Kuhn is elected for a 7-year term by unanimous vote of ML owners.
Joe Pepitone returns to the Yankees but does not play in their 5-2 loss to the Twins. Rich Reese is 4-for-4 with 2 homers and 2 singles to drive in 4 runs for the Twins as Jim Kaat is the winner over Mel Stottlemyre (16-9). Reese will have hits his first 3 at bats tomorrow before flying out.
Montreal reliever Elroy Face gives up the last of his record 21 extra-inning gopher balls‚ an 11th inning grand slam to the Reds Johnny Bench. Cincinnati wins‚ 8-3 in Montreal.
|August 14||In a 3-2 win over the White Sox‚ the Yankees Horace Clarke triples with 2 on in the 9th‚ then scores the winning run on a passed ball. Wilbur Wood takes the loss while Jack Aker is the winner.|
The first-place Cubs whip their Tacoma Cubs farm team, 7-4, as starter Ted Abernathy gets the win. Tacoma rallies for 3 runs in the 9th off Al Spangler, usually an outfielder. The Cubs play SF tomorrow night with a 9-game lead over second-place St. Louis (65-52) and a 10-game lead over the Mets (62-51).
|August 15||Don Sutton (15-11) opens a 9-game eastern swing for Los Angeles with a 9-2 win at Montreal. The Dodgers remain 2 games behind the first-place Reds. Montreal reliever Roy Face makes his final ML appearance‚ a record 657th consecutive relief effort (excluding his 2 games with the Tigers).|
|August 16||In an 8-1 win in Atlanta‚ St. Louis P Bob Gibson reaches 200 strikeouts (en route to 269) for the 7th season‚ a NL record.|
Seattle’s Sicks Stadium shakes when 250-pound Boog Powell legs out an inside-the-park homer in the 9th against ex-teammate Steve Barber. It really isn’t that vital‚ as Baltimore romps 15-3.
The Phillies rack up their 4th straight shutout victory when Rick Wise pitches a 4-hitter to defeat the Astros‚ 7-0. The Phils set a modern club record with the streak. Dick Allen has a homer and Rick Wise joins in with a homer and a single.
|August 17||After the Pirates open with 5 runs in the first inning‚ the Reds answer with 4 tallies as Pete Rose and Bobby Tolan‚ the first two Reds hitters in the game‚ belt homers off Pittsburgh’s Steve Blass. It’s a record-setting 2nd time this year that the duo has led off a game this way: Don Drysdale was greeted on April 7th with double dingers. It’s Pittsburgh day‚ however‚ as they win‚ 8-5.|
The Phils streak of 4 shutouts and 39 consecutive scoreless innings ends when Astros OF Sandy Valdespino steals home in the 1st. Dick Allen and Rader match homers as the Astros win‚ 3-2.
The Tigers tie a club record with 6 homers‚ and Denny McLain wins his 19th‚ beating the A’s at Oakland‚ 9-4. Kaline homers in the 7th and 9th off relievers‚ but the first 3 Bengal homers come off starter Catfish Hunter.
|August 19||Cub Ken Holtzman (14-7) pitches the 5th no-hitter of 1969. Ron Santo‘s 3-run HR off Phil Niekro provides first-place Chicago with a 3-0 win against Atlanta. Holtzman is the first no-hit hurler with no strikeouts since Sam Jones (9/4/23). LF Billy Williams‚ with his back against the vines‚ hauls in Aaron’s drive in the 7th to preserve the no-hitter.|
Giants starter Juan Marichal gives up a game-ending homer to the Mets Tommy Agee in the 14th inning as the Mets win‚ 1-0. Tug McGraw is the winner in relief.
John “Swede” Hollison dies in Chicago at age 99. He was the last surviving ML pitcher to throw from a mound 50 feet from home plate. He pitched in one game in 1892.
|August 20||With an 8-5 win at Philadelphia‚ the Dodgers take first place in the NL West by a half game.|
|August 21||Jim Merritt pitches Cincinnati back into the NL West lead with a 5-3 win at St. Louis.|
|August 22||Tony Oliva hits 2 homers and drives in 5 runs as Minnesota beats the visiting Yankees‚ 6-0. Minnesota clings to 1st place in the AL West.|
Denny McLain wins his 20th as Detroit beats California‚ 3-1. No other pitcher in the AL has won 17.
Half right. At San Francisco‚ President Richard Nixon chats with a crowd outside his hotel when he is asked who will be in the World Series. “Well‚ it has to be the Cubs‚ though the Cardinals are closing the gap‚” he predicts. “In the other league it has to be the Orioles.”
|August 23||The Reds remain in 1st place despite losing their 10th in 14 games as the Pirates win‚ 3-1. It is the Bucs 7th straight win. Pete Rose‘s error is costly and Freddie Patek drives in 2 unearned runs with a single.|
|August 24||At St. Louis‚ Hank Aaron belts a 14th inning 3-run homer to give the Braves a 4-1 win over the Cards. There are no stolen bases in the game‚ though Bob Didier and Tim McCarver throw out six would-be thieves between them.|
The Cubs and the Astros split a pair‚ with the Astros winning the opener‚ 3-2. The Cubs rally to win the nitecap‚ 10-9. Houston takes the lead in the 5th after Ken Johnson‚ making his 1st appearance for the Cubs‚ walks 3 straight. In the 8th‚ Ernie Banks hits his 2nd homer of the game and the 493rd of his career to give the Cubs the final lead.
Seattle loses its 10th straight as the Indians rally for 2 in the 9th to win‚ 6-5. The Pilots react by trading P Jim Bouton to Houston for pitchers Dooley Womack and Roric Harrison.
|August 26||Willie McCovey drives in 6 runs with homer #40‚ a grand slam‚ a sac fly and a single‚ while Bobby Bonds drives in another 5 as the Giants bomb the Phils 13-4. The win is the Giants 6th in a row and they keep their half game lead in the NL West. McCovey’s slam-his 2nd of the year-is his career 10th and his 6 RBIs ups his season total to 106. Perry (16-10) is the winner.|
|August 27||New York’s 4-1 win at San Diego‚ its 74th of the year‚ sets a club record.|
Chicago loses for the 7th time in the last 8 games‚ a 6-3 loss to the Reds Tony Cloninger. Ken Holtzman is the loser. Chicago is now just 2 games ahead of the Amazing Mets.
|August 28||Detroit OF Jim Northrup goes 6-for-6‚ the first 6-hit game for Detroit since June 24‚ 1962‚ as the Tigers beat the A’s‚ 5-3. Northrup’s 6th hit is a HR over the roof in the bottom of the 13th to win the game.|
Canadian reliever Claud Raymond gains his first win since joining the Expos as they come from behind to beat the Dodgers‚ 9-5. Tommy Davis has a pair of singles for LA to stretch his hit streak to 25 straight games.
At a press conference in New York‚ Commissioner Bowie Kuhn announces the publication of The Baseball Encyclopedia and holds up a copy of the 6 1?2 pound book.
|August 29||Joe Pepitone quits the Yankees after being fined $500 for leaving the bench during a game.|
Bill Hands pitches the Cubs to a 2-1 win over Atlanta and is helped by 2 spectacular catches by Oscar Gamble in the 9th. The Cubs lead stands at 3 1/2 games.
Houston’s Jim Bouton makes his first NL start and toils 10 innings before losing to the Pirates‚ 4-2.
|August 30||Washington 2B Tim Cullen ties a ML record with 3 consecutive errors in the 8th inning‚ but the Senators beat Oakland 11-3. Frank Howard leads the offense with 4 hits‚ including his 41st HR‚ and his 1st stolen base in 3 years.|
Merv Rettenmund drives in 3 runs to lead the Orioles to a 6-3 win over the Angels. The O’s score their last run on a single by Brooks Robinson in the 7th and 3 consecutive passed balls by Jose Azcue which ties the AL record for catchers. He is the first backstop on the 20th-C list not to be catching Hoyt Wilhelm‚ though Wilhelm comes in to relief Vern Geishert in the 8th.
|August 31||In their 2nd trade with Seattle within a week‚ Houston acquires OF Tommy Davis for outfielders Sandy Valdespino and Danny Walton.|
|September 1||The Giants move past the Reds into first place with a 12-2 win over Montreal.|
Willie Davis‚ who cracks a single and double‚ ties the club record of hitting in 29 straight games. The mark was set by Zack Wheat in 1916‚ and Davis will double tomorrow to break it. Andy Kosko adds 4 straight hits as the Dodgers beat the visiting Mets‚ 10-6. Koosman is kayoed after a 1/3 of an inning and takes the loss against Jim Bunning.
|September 2||Ralph Houk signs a new 3-year contract with the Yankees at $65‚000 a season‚ the highest managerial salary in either league‚ and Joe Pepitone is reinstated.|
|September 3||The Reds Jim Maloney stops the slumping Cubs on 2 hits to win‚ 2-0. Bill Hands takes the loss. It’s Maloney’s 9th career two hitter; he’s thrown 3 no-hitters and 5 one-hitters. The Cubs lead slips to 4 games.|
Collared his first 4 times up‚ Tommy Davis hits a double in the 9th inning to stretch his hit streak to 31 games. The double drives in the winning run as LA tops the Mets 5-4. The Mets had tied in the 8th when Agee and Clendenon each homered with a man on.
|September 4||After hitting in 31 straight games‚ the 3rd-best streak (since 1900) in NL history‚ the Dodgers Willie Davis is stopped in a 3-0 loss to San Diego. Al Ferrara drives in all 3 runs.|
Down 4-1 in the 9th against the Tigers in Detroit‚ Baltimore gets consecutive HRs from Frank Robinson‚ Boog Powell‚ and Brooks Robinson off Earl Wilson to tie. Timmerman then gives up the winning run on a double‚ sac fly‚ and Baltimore chop as the O’s win‚ 5-4.
|September 5||Billy Williams has all 4 of Chicago’s hits‚ as the Cubs lose a 9-2 decision to Steve Blass and the Pirates. There’s nothing cheap about Billy’s hits-two doubles and two homers-as he sets an NL record for most hits in a game with no other hits‚ tying the ML record of Norm Elberfeld (August 1‚ 1903). Blass helps his own cause with his only ML homer‚ a 3-run blast‚ off Ken Holtzman‚ and 3 singles. The win is Pittsburgh’s first at Wrigley since July 5‚ 1968‚ a string of 13 losses. They’ll win the next 2 to sweep the series and drop the Cubs lead to 2 1/2 games.|
|September 8||At Shea Stadium‚ the Mets top the Cubs 3-2 on Tommie Agee‘s 2-run HR. Jerry Koosman beats Bill Hands and strikes out 13 Cub batters. Chicago has now lost 5 in a row and leads the Mets by 1 1/2 games.|
|September 9||With a 3-2 win‚ Tom Seaver hands Chicago its 6th straight loss‚ giving the Mets a sweep of 2 games. New York now trails the Cubs by one-half game.|
Atlanta’s Phil Niekro joins the 20-win circle for the first time with a 2-1 defeat of the Dodgers. The victory pulls the Braves into 3rd place‚ 11?2 games from the NL West lead.
|September 10||The Cubs drop a 6-2 decision to the Phils‚ and drop to 2nd place‚ one game in back of New York. The Cubs are out of first place after 155 days atop the NL East.|
Meanwhile the Mets sweep the Expos‚ 3-2 and 7-1. Ken Boswell‘s single in the 12th wins the opener. Taylor in relief of Jim McAndrew‚ who pitches the first 11 innings‚ is the winner. Mike Wegener matches McAndrew for 11 innings‚ striking out 15 Mets. In the night cap‚ the Mets score 6 runs in the 3rd to knock out starter Reed. The winner is Nolan Ryan (6-1)‚ who gives up 3 hits and fans 11. The Mets’ two wins puts them into first place by a game‚ the 1st time ever the team has been atop the NL. The Cubs’ loss drops them out of first after 155 days atop the NL. Chicago will continue to swoon and finish the month with a 9-17 record.
Using a ML record 27 players in one game‚ the Royals lose 11-4 at California. Andy Messersmith faces 20 different batters in the complete game win‚ while KC uses 6 pitchers. Bubba Morton plays just 3 innings but drives in 5 runs.
|September 11||The Cubs take a 1-0 lead into the 3rd inning against the Phils when‚ with a 3-2 count on Dick Allen and runners on 1st and 2nd‚ pitcher Dick Selma unexpectedly throws to 3B instead of to home. The throws sails over the head of a surprised Ron Santo and the Phils Tony Taylor scores the tying run. Selma and Santo had practiced the move in spring training‚ but had never used it during the season. The Phils go on to win again over Chicago.|
|September 12||Juan Marichal (18-10) pitches a one-hitter‚ as the Giants beat the Reds 1-0‚ but Atlanta takes the NL West lead by beating Houston 4-3. Tommy Helms’ 3rd-inning single is the only hit in what Marichal calls “my best game ever.”|
Pitchers Jerry Koosman and Don Cardwell both hurl 1-0 wins and drive in the winning runs‚ as the hot Mets sweep the Pirates. The Cubs‚ meanwhile‚ win‚ snapping their 8-game losing streak‚ but now trail by 2 1/2 games.
|September 13||Bobby Bonds becomes the 4th 30-homer‚ 30-steal player in ML history‚ but the Reds beat the Giants 6-4. His 32nd steal‚ on August 13th‚ erased Willie Mays‘s SF record of 31.|
Houston’s Larry Dierker and Atlanta’s Phil Neikro match gooseggs into extra innings before Phil leaves after 11 and Larry after 12. Dierker takes a no hitter into the 9th inning only to lose his bid on Felix Milan’s two-out single. In the 13th‚ the Braves score a pair of runs and the Astros answer with three off Fred Gladding to win‚ 3-2.
Detroit is eliminated when they lose to the Senators‚ 11-6. The Nats score 5 in the 5th‚ 3 coming home on a Ken McMullen homer‚ one of his 4 hits in the game. Detroit rallies in the 6th on Willie Horton‘s 3rd grand slam of the year‚ but McMullen knocks home another 2 runs to give Darryl Knowles (7-3) the win over Bob Timmerman.
Baltimore becomes the AL East champs when Tom Phoebus wins the clincher 10-5 over Cleveland. Baltimore is 18 games ahead of Detroit with 17 to play‚
|September 15||Steve Carlton of the Cardinals fans a ML-record 19 batters and still loses. Ron Swoboda hits a pair of 2-run HRs‚ and New York beats St. Louis 4-3.|
Denny McLain records his 9th shutout‚ a Tiger record‚ beating New York 2-0 at Yankee Stadium.
The Dodgers sweep a pair from the Reds‚ winning the nitecap in 12 innings. Jim Brewer wins both games with an inning of relief in the opener and 4 more in the 2nd game.
|September 16||Juan Marichal blanks the Braves 2-0‚ as the Giants regain first place.|
|September 17||The great race in the NL West finds San Francisco ahead in the morning‚ Los Angeles in front in the afternoon‚ and Atlanta atop the division at the end of the night. Houston nips the Giants 2-1 while Atlanta takes the Dodgers 6-5.|
|September 19||Hank Bauer is fired as manager of the Athletics. John McNamara takes over.|
|September 20||Bob Moose stops the pennant-bound Mets 4-0 with the NL’s record 5th no-hitter of the season. Moose is now 12-3. But the Mets will win their next 9 games.|
|September 21||With 2 outs and the game tied 3-3‚ the Dodgers give Willie McCovey a bases empty intentional walk in the 10th inning. The move backfires as Bonds and Henderson walk and SS Maury Wills fumbles a grounder allowing McCovery to score the winning run.|
|September 22||Willie Mays joins Babe Ruth in the 600-homer club with a blast off Mike Corkins‚ while batting for rookie George Foster. Bobby Bonds sets a ML record with his 176th strikeout‚ as San Francisco beats San Diego 4-2.|
The Twins clinch the AL West when Bob Miller beats Kansas City 4-3.
Tom Seaver‚ who has not lost since early August‚ tops the Cardinals’ Nelson Briles for a 3-1 victory. In game 2‚ Buddy Harrelson singles off Bob Gibson in the 11th inning to give the Mets a 3-2 win. With the Cubs losing to Montreal 7-3‚ the Mets now lead the NL East by 6 games with 6 to play.
|September 23||Dick Williams is fired as manager of the Red Sox. Coach Eddie Popowski becomes interim manager.|
Umpires Bill Valentine and AL Salerno hit baseball with a $4 million antitrust suit.
In his last ML at bat‚ John Miller homers off the Reds’ Jim Merritt‚ but the Dodgers lose 6-3. In 61 plate appearances over 3 years‚ Miller’s only other HR was on September 11‚ 1966‚ for the Yankees-in his first ML at bat.
|September 24||Home runs by Donn Clendenon and Ed Charles‚ and Gary Gentry‘s 4-hitter‚ clinch the NL East pennant for the Mets 6-0 against Steve Carlton and the Cards. As the game ends‚ a large number of the 54‚ 928 fans pour onto the field ripping up huge chunks of sod. Seven fans suffer fractures in the celebration.|
|September 25||John Allyn buys 50 percent of the White Sox from brother Arthur‚ giving him complete control of the club.|
|September 26||Larry Shepard is fired as Pittsburgh manager.|
|September 27||Jim Maloney fires a one-hitter in beating Houston‚ 3-0‚ at Crosley Field. Joe Morgan’s 3rd inning single is the only safety.|
|September 28||Cincinnati reliever Wayne Granger sets a ML record with his 89th appearance in a 4-1 win versus Houston.|
|September 29||Rico Petrocelli blasts his 40th HR‚ a season record for SS‚ as Boston wins 8-5 over Washington. Petrocelli is hitting .301 with only 14 errors in the field.|
|September 30||Atlanta’s 10th straight win‚ 3-2 over Cincinnati‚ clinches the NL West pennant. Hoyt Wilhelm saves Phil Niekro‘ 23rd win by retiring the last 6 batters. Niekro ends the regular season allowing no sacrifice flies in 284 innings‚ a record.|
|October 2||Pete Rose is .0008 ahead of Clemente in the batting race in his final at bat today‚ A bunt single clinches it (.348) for his 2nd straight batting title as the Reds down the Braves‚ 8-3‚ in Atlanta.|
The Pilots play what will be their last game in Seattle in a 3-1 loss to Oakland. A crowd of 5‚473 fans show up to pay their respects.
Eddie Kasko is named manager of the Red Sox.
|October 4||The first League Championship Series begin in Atlanta and Baltimore. New York survives HRs by Hank Aaron and Tony Gonzalez off Tom Seaver and scores 5 runs off Phil Niekro in the 8th to coast home 9-5. Paul Blair‘s 12th-inning squeeze bunt gives the Orioles a 4-3 win over Minnesota.|
|October 5||New York beats Atlanta 11-6. Tommie Agee‚ Ken Boswell‚ and Cleon Jones hit HRs for the Mets; Hank Aaron‚ for the Braves.|
Dave McNally‘s 3-hitter for the O’s beats the Twins‚ 1-0.
|October 6||New York rallies twice and wins the first NL Championship Series. Tommie Agee‚ Ken Boswell‚ and Wayne Garrett hit HRs and fans swarm the Shea Stadium field after a 7-4 win.|
Baltimore wins the first ALCS as Paul Blair delivers 5 hits and Don Buford 4 in an 11-2 win at Minnesota.
|October 7||The Cards trade outfielders Curt Flood and Byron Browne‚ P Joe Hoerner‚ and C Tim McCarver to Philadelphia for 1B Richie Allen‚ 2B Cookie Rojas‚ and P Jerry Johnson.|
|October 8||Dave Bristol is fired as manager of the Reds‚ and Joe Gordon resigns as manager of the Royals. Charlie Metro replaces Gordon.|
|October 9||Sparky Anderson accepts the job as manager of the Reds.|
Danny Murtaugh signs on for a 3rd term as manager of the Pirates.
|October 10||In his final season‚ P Masaichi Kaneda of the Yomiuri Giants gets his 400th lifetime win‚ against 250 losses. During a 20-year career (1950-69)‚ he won 30 games twice and 20 games 14 times. He also holds the Japanese record for strikeouts (4‚490)‚ averaging 225 a season‚ while giving up only 1‚809 walks.|
Yutaka Enatsu of the Hanshin Tigers strikes out his 401st batter of the season. This puts him 3rd on the all-time list after Matt Kilroy with 513 in 1886 and Old Hoss Radbourn with 441 in 1884.
|October 11||Don Buford’s leadoff HR starts a 4-1 Baltimore win over New York to open the WS. Mike Cuellar bests Tom Seaver.|
|October 12||New York’s Jerry Koosman and Ron Taylor combine on a 2-hitter‚ as Al Weis‘s 9th-inning single off loser Dave McNally gives the Mets a 2-1 win to even the WS.|
|October 13||Billy Martin (97-65) is fired as manager of the pennant-winning Twins.|
|October 14||Tommie Agee and Ed Kranepool hit homers; Agee makes 2 brilliant catches in CF‚ and New York wins WS game 3‚ 5-0 over Baltimore.|
|October 15||A memorable WS game pits Tom Seaver against Mike Cuellar. RF Ron Swoboda‘s questionable dive at Brooks Robinson‘s sinking liner with runners at 1B and 3B in the 9th inning results in a brilliant catch‚ even though Frank Robinson tags and scores the tying run. In the 10th‚ Mets PH J. C. Martin‚ running illegally inside the 1B line after a bunt‚ is hit on the wrist by P Pete Richert‘s errant throw‚ enabling pinch runner Rod Gaspar to score from second as the Mets win 2-1. The game is enlivened by Earl Weaver getting thrown out after protesting ball and strike calls by Shag Crawford. Earl is the 3rd manager to leave early in a WS‚ but the first since 1935.|
|October 16||In game 5 Cleon Jones‚ awarded 1B when shoe polish on the ball proves he was hit by a pitch‚ scores on Donn Clendenon‘s HR. Al Weis‘s HR an inning later ties the game. Ron Swoboda‘s double and 2 Baltimore errors in the 8th give New York a 5-3 win and the Series. Jerry Koosman completes the Mets amazin’ achievement with a 5-hitter.|
|October 21||Pittsburgh acquires P Dave Giusti and C Dave Ricketts from St. Louis for 1B/OF Carl Taylor and OF Frank Vanzin.|
|October 22||Bill Rigney is the new manager of the Twins.|
|October 24||The New York City Human Rights Division hears arguments on the Bernice Gera case. Gera was rejected by the National Association of Baseball Leagues as the first female umpire. The NABL says she did not meet height‚ weight‚ and age standards.|
|October 29||Tom Seaver is voted the NL Cy Young Award.|
The Phillies again sign Jim Bunning‚ who was released by the Dodgers. The veteran will win 10 games for the Phillies in 1970.
|November 5||The Reds send pitcher George Culver to the Cards for P Ray Washburn.|
|November 6||Denny McLain and Mike Cuellar finish dead even in AL Cy Young Award voting.|
|November 12||Minnesota’s Harmon Killebrew is awarded AL MVP honors.|
|November 20||The Giants’ Willie McCovey edges Tom Seaver as NL MVP.|
Joe Schultz Jr. is fired as manager of the Pilots.
Cleveland trades OF Jose Cardenal to St. Louis for OF Vada Pinson. The vet Vada’s play was hampered this season by a broken leg.
|November 24||Dave Bristol is named manager of the Pilots.|
|November 25||Kansas City OF Lou Piniella is voted AL Rookie of the Year.|
The Reds trade Alex Johnson and Chico Ruiz to the California Angels for Ps Pedro Borbon‚ Jim McGlothin and Vern Geishert. The talented but troubled Johnson‚ who hit over .300 in his 2 seasons with the Reds‚ will win the AL batting title in 1970. Borbon and McGlothin will be valuable additions to the big Red Machine.
|November 28||Los Angeles 2B Ted Sizemore becomes the 7th Dodger to win NL Rookie of the Year honors.|
|December 3||In what is rated their best trade ever‚ the Royals send 3B Joe Foy to the Mets for OF Amos Otis and P Bob Johnson. Foy will not solve the Mets’ 3B problems‚ while Otis will spend 14 years in Kansas City‚ win 3 Gold Gloves‚ and lead the AL in stolen bases once.|
|December 4||The Yankees trade 1B Joe Pepitone to the Astros for 1B Curt Blefary.|
The Cubs send OF Boots Day to the Cardinals for P Rich Nye.
The Yankees send veteran P Al Downing and C Frank Fernandez to Oakland for 1B Danny Cater and C Ossie Chavarria.
|December 5||Chub Feeney succeeds Warren Giles as president of the NL. He is elected for a 4-year term‚ beginning January 1‚ 1970.|
|December 11||A Federal Court in New York City rules against the suit of umpires Bill Valentine and Al Salerno because baseball is exempt from antitrust laws.|
|December 12||Cleveland trades pitchers Luis Tiant, Jr. and Stan Williams to the Twins for 3B Graig Nettles‚ OF Ted Uhlaender‚ and pitchers Dean Chance and Bob Miller. Tiant had led the AL in ERA (1.60) and shutouts while going 21-9 in 1968; next year, in 1969, he nearly reversed his won-lost mark, falling to 9-20. He’ll pitch an injury shortened season for the Twins in 1970 and won’t regain his dominance until 1972 when he’ll go 15-6 with a major league-leading 1.91 ERA with the Boston Red Sox.|
The Mets pick up veteran P Ray Sadecki and OF Dave Marshall from the Giants for OF Jim Gosger and IF Bob Heise.
|December 13||The Red Sox send 1B Syd O’Brien and pitcher Billy Farmer and cash to the White Sox for P Gary Peters and C Don Pavletich. Boston also picks up 3B Tommy Matchick from the Tigers for Dalton Jones. Farmer will announce his retirement and in March the White Sox will replace him with P Gerry Janeski.|
|December 15||National Labor Relations Board accepts the case of fired umpires Bill Valentine, Jr. and Al Salerno‚ thereby issuing a challenge to baseball’s antitrust status.|
|December 18||The White Sox send veteran LH slugger Pete Ward to the Yankees for P Mickey Scott and cash.|
|December 29||The New York Times reports that Curt Flood will sue baseball and challenge the reserve clause.|