1969 July

2nd  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.

      In St. Louis, the Mets outlast the Cardinals, winning, 6-4, in 14 innings. Tug McGraw earns the win with 6 innings of shutout relief. Tommie Agee, Wayne Garrett (4 RBIs) and Tim McCarver each have 4 hits, and Vic Davilillo smacks a pinch grand slam for the Birds. The Mets remain 7.5 games behind the Cubs in the NL East.

3rdAt 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.

4th  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 first road game, 8–5, after 9 straight wins.

      Kansas City sweeps a pair from the visiting Pilots, winning 13-2 and 3-2.  In game 1 the Royals score 6 in the 7th and 5 in the 8th to break it open. Bob Oliver clubs a grand slam in the 8th, off Jim Bouton.

      At Comiskey, the Angels and White Sox divide a doubleheader, California takes game 1, 7-3, as Jay Johnstone has 3 hits, including a grand slam. Joel Horlen scatters 4 hits in the Sox’ 3-1 win in game 2.

5th  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.

6th  At Connie Mack Stadium, the Phils and Expos split a pair. Philley takes the opener, 13-2, doing all their scoring in the first 4 innings. Gary Waslewski then fires a one-hitter as Montreal wins, 5-0, in game 2.  Waslewski also drives in a pair of runs as he wins his first of the year. Rick Joseph’s 5th inning single is the only Phillie hit. The game is a quick 1 hr: 36 minutes.

      In San Diego, the Astros win the opener of a twinbill, 3-2, then lose 1-0 to the Padres in game 2. Jack Billingham of Houston allows just 4 hits in the loss, but that is 3 more than Dick Kelley surrenders. Denis Menke’s 2nd-inning single is the lone Houston hit.

8th  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.

9th  With one out in the 9th, Chicago’s Jimmy Qualls bloops a single to left-CF against the Mets, 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.

      The Giants spot Houston 3 runs, then score 10 in the 7th and 8th frames to win, 10-3. Bob Burda has a grand slam in the 8th.

      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.

      In the first of two at Sick’s Stadium, Fred Talbot does it all as he shuts out California on 3 hits to win, 8-0. He also scores 2 runs and hits a grand slam, off Eddie Fisher. The loss goes to Clyde Wright (0-4). The Angels win game 2, 5-0, behind George Brunet’s shutout.

10th 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.

11thThe 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 nightcap, 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.

      The Indians score 6 runs in the 3rd—4 on a grand slam by Ken Harrelson—and stop the Tigers, 8-1. Sam McDowell wins his 11th.

13thUndefeated 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.

14th  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.

15th 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, including a grand slam, 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, when the Braves score 4 in the 9th, 3 on a homer by Bob Aspromonte, then take game two, 10–4. May now has 27 homers, one behind McCovey for the NL lead.

      With President Nixon, along with his daughter Julie, son-in-law David and astronaut Frank Borman, 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 Daryl Patterson relieves in the 6th and induces Brinkman to ground to 3B Don Wert. Cullen, hitting .206, drives in 4 runs with a single, double and HR. Patterson is replaced in the 7th by Joe Sparma.

      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 nightcap, a 41 win by New York’s Stan Bahnsen (5–10), but his hit streak will stop tomorrow.

16th  After White Sox lefty Jerry Nyman walks in a run with the bases loaded, Rod Carew, on the front end of a triple steal, 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.

17th  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.

18th  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 Dave 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 between 1B and 2B. May is credited with a score, despite never circling the bases, 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.

      Detroit’s Denny McLain (14-5) stops the Indians, 4-0. Willie Horton helps with a 2-run homer, off Luis Tiant, in the 8th and also ties the AL record for most putouts (11) by a left fielder in a 9-inning game. Paul Lehner set the mark in 1950.

      Tony Gonzalez hits a grand slam in  Atlanta’s 6-run 4th and Ron reed holds off the Padres, as the Braves win, 6-2, in the first of two. Gonzalez has a homer in the nightcap, a 6-3 Atlanta win.  Larry Stahl has a homer in each game for the Pods.

      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.

19th  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.”

20th  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.

21st  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.

22nd  For the first time, the All-Star Game is postponed due to rain.

23rd  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.

24th  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. On a routine fly ball by Al Spangler in the 6th, Andy Kosko loses it in the sun. It falls for a double and two runs score.

      Hank Aaron moves past Jimmy Foxx with homerun #535, a 2-run shot in the 7th, as the Braves win, 9-6 over the Expos.

      At Shea, pitcher Jim Merritt hits his first career homer with 2 outs in the 9th to give the Reds a short-lived 3-2 lead over the Mets. But Merritt is then lifted and Mets plate a run against Wayne Granger to tie. Cincinnati wins, 4-3, in 12 innings.

25th  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.

26th  Mack Jones clouts a 6th inning grand slam and Al Ferrara adds a pinch 3-run homer in the 9th as Montreal beat the Braves, 7-4. The Braves are a game ahead of LA and SF in the NL West.

      One for the books in Baltimore. Orioles catcher Clay Dalrymple opens a game with the White Sox wearing a catchers’ mitt but with a fielder’s glove in his back pocket. He plans on using the fielder’s glove for plays at the plate. The umps are stumped, but after conferring, decide that it is illegal to have extra mitts on the field, and Clay must play with just one until they get a league ruling. Earl Weaver says, “If nothing covers it in the rules, then why rule against the glove? Why not for?” Dalrymple chimes in, “I’m confident the league office will let me carry the glove.” A laughing Weaver counters, “I’m just as confident the league office won’t.” Earl’s right. Baltimore wins today, however, 2-1.

27th  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 with a solo homer 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—by Bobby Knoop—while the Birds bang out 20, good for 39 total bases.  Frank Robinson drives in 5 runs and hits a pair of homers, while Hardin chips in with a 3-run homer.

      Joe Morgan rushes back from Army reserve training and arrives at the Astrodome in time to pinch hit for Julio Gotay in the 11th inning. He doubles off Bill Wilson and scores the winning run as the Astros beat the Phillies, 3-2.

      Rick Reichardt homers twice and drives in 5 runs as the Angels trip the Yankees, 5-4. Reichardt is the first Angel to homer twice in a game this season.

      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 opines, “Baseball needs a two platoon system and unlimited substitution. And off field it needs lots of 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.”

29th  Yankee reliever Jack Aker’s string of 34 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. Reggie Jackson belts his 40th homer of the year, the first player to reach that level in 1969.

30th  Its a bad day for the Mets at Shea. In the first 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 nightcap, 4–3. Dick Allen homers in the 2nd inning and follows a Callison homer in the 8th with his 2nd shot of the game.