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1969 in Baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1969 throughout the world.
January 2 - In response to major-league owners' continued refusal to increase their contributions to the players' pension fund commensurately with their television broadcast revenues, the Major League Baseball Players Association urges players not to sign any new contracts.
May 1 - The Houston Astros, no-hit the day before by Jim Maloney of the Cincinnati Reds, answer back as Don Wilson pitches a 4-0 no-hitter, with 13 strikeouts over the Reds. Houston ties a National League record with just one assist. In Wilson's previous start against Cincinnati, on April 22, he gave up six runs in five innings in a 14-0 loss. The back-to-back no-hitters are only the second in Major League history, the feat having been accomplished just the year before by Gaylord Perry and Ray Washburn.
June 22 - The Cubs score four runs in the ninth inning to defeat the Montreal Expos 7-6 in the first game of a double-header at Wrigley Field. Jim Hickman hit a 2-run walk-off homer.
June 26 - Jim Hickman's home run in the 10th inning defeats the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-5 at Wrigley Field. On the spur of the moment Ron Santo leaped in the air and clicked his heels 3 times on the way to the clubhouse. The victory dance became a hit with euphoric Cub fans.
July 8 - With three runs in the 9th inning, the New York Mets beat the Chicago Cubs 4-3, cutting Chicago's lead in the National League East to four games. Chicago's Ron Santo rips into center fielder Don Young for two misplays in the outfield; Santo apologizes the next day for criticizing Young, who had left early and didn't take the team bus. Santo is later booed in his first game back at Wrigley Field.
July 26 - Randy Hundley drives in all three Cub runs, including a walk-off single in the 11th inning, to lead the Cubs to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field.
July 27 - In the most dominant shutout in Orioles history, the Baltimore Orioles defeat the Chicago White Sox, 17-0 at Memorial Stadium. Jim Hardin pitches a 2-hit shutout, walking none and hits a 3-run home run in the bottom of the fourth off of Gary Bell to make it 13-0, the Orioles would plate 4 more runs and belt out 20 hits, all Oriole starters hit safely. In Baltimore's 100th game of the season, they stand at 69-31 and have a 12.5-game lead over the Detroit Tigers in the newly formed American League East.
July 30 - After losing the first game of a doubleheader with the Houston Astros 16-3, the New York Mets were down 7-0 in the third inning when Johnny Edwards hit a double to Cleon Jones in left field to make the score 8-0. Mets manager Gil Hodges emerged from the dugout, walked past Nolan Ryan on the mound, and walked all the way out to left field. A few minutes later, Hodges walked back to the dugout, with Jones a few paces behind him, and replaced Jones in left with Ron Swoboda. According to Jones, he pointed down to the water filled turf. Hodges then said that something must be wrong with Jones's ankle and pulled him for that reason (Jones was kept out of the line-up for the next two games, and used only as a pinch hitter in the two after that). Newspapers report that Jones was removed for failure to hustle, and Hodges decided to do so publicly to show that he would not tolerate lack of effort on his team, even from its star player.
August 1 - Willie Davis of the Los Angeles Dodgers began his 31-game hit streak this day. Coming into this game Willie was batting .260 - by the time the streak ended on September 4 Willie was batting .318 - during the streak Willie hit .459 and broke the Dodgers franchise record of 29 games set by Zack Wheat. Willie Davis' 31-game hit streak was the 3rd longest in N.L. history and as of 2017 is still the Dodgers record.
August 5 - The Pittsburgh Pirates' Willie Stargell hits the first home run hit completely out of Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles pitcher Alan Foster surrenders the 506-foot blast--to date, the longest home run in Dodger Stadium history. (Stargell will hit another homer out of Dodger Stadium, off Andy Messersmith in 1973.) The mammoth home run comes in the seventh inning and breaks a 3-3 tie, a three-run home run by Andy Kosco having tied the game for the Dodgers in the bottom of the sixth; Pittsburgh scores seven more runs in the ninth inning and defeats Los Angeles 11-3.
Citing damage to his right shoulder, Don Drysdale retires from the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is the last player still playing for the Dodgers that had also played in Brooklyn.
August 14 - In the National League Eastern Division, the Chicago Cubs lead the St. Louis Cardinals by 8.5 games and the New York Mets by 9.5 games.
August 19 - At Wrigley Field, Ken Holtzman of the Chicago Cubsno-hits the Atlanta Braves 3-0 without striking out a single batter the entire game. Only one other pitcher in Major League history, Sad Sam Jones in 1923, has hurled a no-hitter without the benefit of a strikeout. Holtzman survives a scare in the seventh as Hank Aaron's fly ball to deep left field leading off the inning appears to be going over the wall for a home run; however, a stiff wind cuts into the ball and enables Billy Williams to catch it at the warning track. Aaron will ground out to Cubs' second baseman Glenn Beckert for the game's final out.
October 8 - After firing Dave Bristol as manager despite an 89-73 season, the Cincinnati Reds hire Sparky Anderson to replace him. Over the next seven seasons, Anderson, who will be making his Major League managerial debut in 1970, will guide the team known as the "Big Red Machine" to five National League West titles, four National League pennants, and back-to-back World Series titles in 1975 and 1976.
October 15 - Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver is warned during Game 4 of the 1969 World Series by umpireShag Crawford not to argue balls and strikes. After receiving this warning, Weaver follows Crawford to home plate, and is immediately ejected from the game. The Mets would go on to win the game 2-1 in 10 innings to take a 3-1 lead in the World Series.
November 25 - Outfielder Lou Piniella, who hit .282 with 11 home runs and 68 RBI, is named American League Rookie of the Year over pitcher Mike Nagy (12-2, 3.11 ERA), outfielder Carlos May (.281, 18, 62) and pitcher Ken Tatum (7-2, 1.36).
January 5 - Tiny Osborne, 75, 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m), 215 lb (98 kg) pitcher who worked in 142 games for the Chicago Cubs (1922-1924) and Brooklyn Robins (1924-1925); father of Bobo Osborne.
January 6 - Hank Olmsted, 89, pitcher for the 1905 Boston Americans.
January 7 - Bill Lobe, 56, minor-league catcher who spent nine years (1951-1959) as bullpen coach of the Cleveland Indians.
January 18 - Ray Kennedy, 73, second baseman turned executive; general manager of Pittsburgh Pirates (1946); farm system director of Pirates (1947-1948) and Detroit Tigers (1949-51), and player personnel director of Kansas City Athletics (1955); appeared in one MLB game as a player for the St. Louis Browns (1916).
January 23 - Al Bridwell, 85, shortstop whose apparent game-winning single for the New York Giants in a 1908 contest led to the controversial play in which baserunner Fred Merkle was eventually called out for not touching second base.
February 19 - Doc White, 89, Chicago White Sox pitcher whose record of five consecutive shutouts was finally broken by Don Drysdale in 1968.
March 10 - Max Rosenfeld, 66, outfielder who got into 42 games with Brooklyn of the National League between 1931 and 1933.
March 14 - Heinie Zimmerman, 82, third baseman who played 1,456 games for Chicago Cubs (1907-1916) and New York Giants (1916-1919) who won the NL triple crown in 1912; barred from baseball in 1919 for his role in fixing games.
March 16 - William Bell, 71, All-Star pitcher of the Negro leagues who posted the highest career winning percentage in black baseball.
March 16 - Néstor Chávez, 21, pitcher who played for the 1967 San Francisco Giants.
March 21 - Pinky Higgins, 59, third baseman for the Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers for 14 years between 1930 and 1946; held American League record for career games at that position; three-time All-Star; later manager (1955-1959 and 1960-1962) and general manager (1963-1965) of the Red Sox.
April 3 - Charley Stanceu, 53, pitcher who worked in 39 career games for the New York Yankees (1941 and 1946) and Philadelphia Phillies (1946).
April 4 - Les Wilson, 83, outfielder who played for the 1911 Boston Red Sox.
April 7 - Si Rosenthal, 65, outfielder who played from 1925 to 1926 for the Boston Red Sox.
April 13 - William Walsingham Jr., 59, front-office executive; vice president of St. Louis Cardinals (1942-1955) and executive VP of Baltimore Orioles (1957-1958).
April 19 - Bob "Rip" Collins, 59, catcher who appeared in 50 career games for the Chicago Cubs (1940) and New York Yankees (1944).
April 27 - Harry Taylor, 61, first baseman who played 10 games with the 1932 Chicago Cubs.
May 1 - Gary Wilson, 90, second baseman for the 1902 Boston Americans.
May 5 - Eddie Cicotte, 84, pitcher who won 208 games for the Tigers, Red Sox and White Sox, but was thrown out of baseball as one of the eight "Black Sox" involved in fixing the 1919 World Series; he was the first of the eight to come forward, confessing his involvement and testifying before the grand jury.
May 17 - Pants Rowland, 90, manager of the 1917 World Series champion Chicago White Sox, later president of the Pacific Coast League from 1944 to 1954.
May 20 - Lee Allen, 54, historian at the Baseball Hall of Fame since 1959, former sportswriter.
May 25 - Jim Riley, 74, Canadian infielder who played in six total MLB games for the St. Louis Browns (1921) and Washington Senators (1923); the only athlete in sports history to play both Major League Baseball and in the National Hockey League.
June 24 - John Perrin, 71, right fielder for 1921 Boston Red Sox; later a fullback/quarterback for the NFL Hartford Blues.
July 8 - Bill Carrigan, 85, manager and backup catcher for the Boston Red Sox' world champions in 1915 and 1916.
July 8 - Red Rolfe, 60, third baseman for New York Yankees (1931 and 1934-1942); played on five World Series champions; three-time AL All-Star; manager of Detroit Tigers from 1949 to July 4, 1952; Ivy League baseball coach (Yale) and athletics director (Dartmouth).
July 23 - Roy Mahaffey, 65, pitcher in 224 games--197 for the Philadelphia Athletics--for three MLB clubs over nine seasons between 1926 and 1936; member of 1930 World Series champion Athletics.
July 30 - Flint Rhem, 68, pitcher who won 20 games (losing 7) for the 1926 world champion St. Louis Cardinals and went 105-97 over 12 National League seasons (1924-1928 and 1930-1936) with Cardinals, Boston Braves and Philadelphia Phillies.
August 17 - Frank Shellenback, 70, spitball pitcher who played for 1918-1919 Chicago White Sox and won 295 games in the Pacific Coast League; later a longtime pitching coach.
September 18 - Joe Grace, 55, outfielder who appeared in 484 games over six seasons between 1938 and 1947 with the St. Louis Browns and Washington Senators.
September 29 - Tommy Leach, 91, third baseman and center fielder, primarily for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who led the NL in runs twice and home runs once.
September 30 - Jim Galvin, 62, minor league catcher who played briefly for the 1930 Boston Red Sox, seeing action in two pinch-hitting assignments.
September 30 - Hank Thompson, 43, third baseman who was the third black player in MLB history as a member of the 1947 St. Louis Browns, then played on the 1954 New York Giants World Series championship team.
October 2 - Gordon Cobbledick, 70, sportswriter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer from 1928 to 1964.
October 9 - Don Hoak, 41, fiery third baseman on 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers and 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates World Series championship teams; played 11 seasons in National League for five clubs; selected to 1957 NL All-Star team.
October 9 - Ray Lucas, 61, pitcher who worked in 22 total games for the 1929-1931 New York Giants and 1933-1934 Brooklyn Dodgers.
November 1 - George Winn, 72, pitcher for the Boston Red Sox (1919) and Cleveland Indians (1922-23).
November 14 - Curt Roberts, 40, first black player in Pittsburgh Pirates history (debuting April 13, 1954); second baseman who played in 171 games over three seasons (1954-1956) with Bucs.
November 15 - Billy Southworth, 76, Hall of Fame manager who won 1,044 regular-season games and World Series titles in 1942 and 1944 with the St. Louis Cardinals; also captured National League pennants with Cardinals (1943) and Boston Braves (1948); his .597 career winning percentage is second, all-time, to Joe McCarthy; in his playing days, an outfielder who appeared in 1,192 games in 13 seasons for five teams between 1913 and 1929, and batted .297.
November 26 - Emil Kush, 53, pitcher who won 21 of 33 decisions for the Chicago Cubs (1941-1942 and 1946-1949).
November 30 - Eddie Eayrs, 79, outfielder/pitcher who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Braves and Brooklyn Robins in the early 20th century.
December 3 - Roy Wilson, 83, pitcher for the Chicago White Sox in the 1920s.
December 7 - Lefty O'Doul, 72, left fielder who batted .349 in his career and won two batting titles after being converted from a pitcher; became the winningest manager in Pacific Coast League history, and earned additional fame as the "father" of professional baseball in Japan.
December 10 - Jack Tobin, 77, diminutive (142 lb (64 kg)) but hard-hitting right fielder who batted .309 and amassed 1,906 hits over a 13-year career (1914-1916 and 1918-1927) spent mostly with St. Louis Browns; led American League in triples (18) in 1921; later a Browns' coach.
December 11 - Ollie Fuhrman, 83, catcher who hit .333 for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1922.