1969 September

1st  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 Dodgers 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.

      At Fenway, Rico Petrocelli hits his 34th HR, a 1st-inning grand slam, and the Red Sox roll to a 6-2 decision over Oakland.

2nd  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.

3rd  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.

4th  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 a Baltimore chop as the O’s win, 5–4.

      In Oakland, Cesar Tovar belts a 10th inning grand slam, off Lew Krause, and the AL West-leading Twins top the A’s, 10-5. Tovar drives in 5 runs on 3 hits. Harmon Killebrew connects for his 40th homer of the year in the 8th. Minnesota now leads the A’s by 7.5 games.

5th  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 “Kid” Elberfeld (August 1, 1903). He also is the first major leaguer since Medwick in 1937 to have four extra base hits twice in a season. 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.

      At Crosley Field, Phil Niekro serves up a 2-run homer in the 1st to Tony Perez, then knuckles down, allowing no hits the rest of the game. Niekro wins his 19th and the Braves win, 11-2, over the Reds.

6th In a marathon, the visiting Twins top the Oakland A’s, 8-6, in 18 innings as Cesar Tovar’s 2-run homer is the margin of victory.  Tony Oliva hits his 2nd homer of the game in the 16th, but the A’s answer when Bert Campaneris leads off the bottom of the inning with a single, then steals 2B and 3B, before scoring on a hit.  Reggie Jackson has 4 RBIs for the A’s, 3 on a homer in the 5th.  Jim Kaat, with 9 1/3 innings of relief is the winner.

7th In Oakland, Harmon Killebrew belts a 3-run homer off Fred Talbot and a grand slam off Vida Blue as the Twins roll to a 16-2 whaling of the A’s. Tony Oliva has a homer and 4 runs scored, Frank Quilici has a homer and 3 RBIs, and Dave Boswell wins his 16th.

      In the 9that Wrigley, Willie Stargell hits a 2-strike, 2-out pitch from Phil Regan onto Waveland Avenue to tie the game and the Pirates win, 7-5, in extra innings to stun the Cubs.  The Cubbies are in the midst of losing 11 of 12.

8th 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.

      At Parc Jarry, Jose Martinez, inserted as a pinchrunner and staying in the game, belts a 9th inning grand slam as the Pirates top the Expos, 6-2. It is Martinez’s only ML homer. Gene Alley has a hit to extend his consecutive-game hitting streak to 21 games. During the skein, Alley hit .366; For the rest of season he hits .197.

9th  Tom Seaver (21-7) scatters 5 hits as the slumping Cubs lose to the Mets, 7-1. Clendenon and Shamsky each hit their 13th homers, off Fergie Jenkins, who loses his 13th. The Cubs knew they were in trouble when a black cat walked past Ron Santo when he was in the on deck circle. New York is a half game in back of Chicago.

      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, 112games from the NL West lead.

10th  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 nightcap, 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.

       Despite 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.

11thThe 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.

      Wally Bunker gives the Royals their 2nd one-hitter in five weeks as the Royals top the Angels, 3-0. Jay Johnstone has the lone hit.

12th  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 both 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.

13th  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 Niekro match goose eggs 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. Mike Epstein connects for a grand slam for the Nats.

      Ron Swoboda hits a grand slam and Tom Seaver wins his 22nd as the hot Mets beat Pittsburgh, 5-2. The Mets now lead the slumping Cubs by 3.5 games.

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.

15th  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 nightcap in 12 innings. Jim Brewer wins both games with an inning of relief in the opener and 4 more in the 2nd game.

16th  Juan Marichal blanks the Braves 2–0, as the Giants regain first place.

17th  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.

19th  Hank Bauer is fired as manager of the Athletics. John McNamara takes over.

20th  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.

21st  With 2 outs and the game with the Giants 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 McCovey to score the winning run.

22nd  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.

23rd  In Oakland, the A’s sweep a pair from the White Sox, winning 4-3 and 5-3. Catfish Hunter is victorious in the opener with help from Bobby Brooks, who hits a 3-run homer. Reggie Jackson hits his league-leading 47th homer of the season in the nightcap. 

      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.

      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.

24th  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.

25th  John Allyn buys 50 percent of the White Sox from brother Arthur, giving him complete control of the club.

26th  Lee Maye belts a grand slam, off Stan Williams, to provide all the scoring Joe Coleman needs as the Senators beat the Indians, 4-1.

     In the battle of Niekros, Phil is the winner over Joe as the Braves top the Padres, 10-4. Hank Aaron hits his NL-leading 44th homer, Orlando Cepeda belts a grand slam, and Clete Boyer adds a homer as Phil Niekro wins his 22nd.

      The Reds take two games from the Astros, winning 3-0, on Jim Maloney’s one-hitter, and 4-3. Joe Morgan’s single in the 3rd is the only hit for the Astros.

      Larry Shepard is fired as Pittsburgh manager. The Bucs were 84-73 under him this season. Alex Grammas will skipper the Corsairs for their last 5 games.

27th  Jim Maloney fires a one-hitter in beating Houston, 3–0, at Crosley Field.  Joe Morgan’s 3rd inning single is the only safety.

      At Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers edge the Giants, 2-1, in 11 innings when pinch hitter Len Gabrielson drives in the winning run. Gabrielson pinch hit for pinch hitter John Miller, who is lifted because of a pitching change. For Miller, who hit a pinch homer in his last ML at bat, this is his last appearance (as noted by Bill Deane).

28th  Cincinnati reliever Wayne Granger sets a ML record with his 89th appearance in a 4–1 win versus Houston. Losing pitcher Tom Griffin strikes out 9 in 6 innings to become the 5throokie since 1893 to strike out 200 batters in a season. It will be done 7 more times this century.  Griffin joins Larry Dierker (232) and Don Wilson (235) to give Houston three pitchers with 200 or more strikeouts in a season.  It won’t be matched for 44 years. Griffin will be named NL rookie pitcher of the year by The Sporting News.

      In Montreal, Bob Gibson wins his 19th, 2-0, over the Expos. It is NL-best 28th complete game.  Bill Stoneman loses his 19th, and strikes out in his two at bats. In his 73 at bats this year, Stoneman his struck out 55 times (.753 percent), making him the easiest pitcher since 1900 to strike out.  He tops Dean Chance in 1965-66.

29th  Rico Petrocelli blasts his 40th HR, a season record for AL shortstops, as Boston wins, 8–5, over Washington. Petrocelli is hitting .301 with only 14 errors in the field.

30th  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.

      At Sicks Stadium, Sal Bando has his second 5-hit game of the season to lead the A’s to an 8-4 win over the Pilots. Chuck Dobson (15-13) is the winner.

      Sorry you traded me? Ed Kirkpatrick has a single, triple and two homers to drive in 6 runs in the Royals 8-5 win over the Angels. Kirkpatrick is the first player in ML history to hit 5 homers against his former team in the year after he’s traded. Bobby Bonds (1978) and Vladimir Guerrero (2010) will join him in the jilted club.