During the 1969 baseball season, Willie Stargell hit the first home run out of Dodger Stadium and the Seattle Pilots suffered through their first and only major league season. Here are some of the headlines for the 1969 baseball season:
Tom Seaver Nearly Perfect
On July 10, 1969, with one out in the ninth, Tom Seaver of the Mets lost a bid for a perfect game when Chicago pinch hitter Jim Qualls cracked a double. Despite the defeat, the Cubs ended the day still in first place by a comfortable margin. They would eventually blow a 9-1/2-game lead and lose the title to Seaver's Mets.
Tony Perez: 122 RBI, 131 Ks
In his ten seasons as a regular with the Reds, Tony Perez averaged over 100 RBI a year. If he had a fault, it was that he struck out too often. But although he fanned 1,867 times, the fourth-highest career total in history, he was never a league-leader in whiffs. In 1969, he had 122 RBI and 131 Ks.
Curt Flood Trade Ends in Court
Only age 31 in 1969 and still in his prime, Curt Flood chose to quit the game rather than be traded against his will. His act of protest and the legal repercussions that ensued resulted in the most serious threat to baseball's reserve clause since its origin in the late 1870s.
Willie Stargell Nails One in Los Angeles
Willie Stargell was the first player to hit a home run out of Dodger Stadium, nailing the dinger on August 5, 1969. When Stargell played every day, he hit a ton. As a pinch hitter, though, he was abysmal -- at least until the tag end of his career. In his first 16 seasons, he hit just .146 in pinch roles; in his last four seasons, however, he hit .339, lifting his overall pinch average to .206.
Rod Carew's .332 Best Since 1961
With the exception of the 1961 expansion season, Rod Carew's .332 average in 1969 was the American League's highest mark that decade. As it turned out, 1969 was also an expansion year. The only American League players between 1960 and 1973 to hit .330 in a non-expansion season were Tony Oliva and Bobby Murcer, both in 1971.
Dave McNally One of Four Aces
With 20 victories for the Orioles in 1969, Dave McNally came in third in the American League in win percentage (.741). Baltimore's four top starters -- McNally, Mike Cuellar, Jim Palmer, and Tom Phoebus -- had a combined 73-29 mark as the club won 109 games that season, an expansion-era record in the American League.
Don Mincher Leads Pilots
Don Mincher led the Seattle Pilots in both home runs (25) and RBI (78) in 1969, the team's only year of existence. As awful as the expansion club was, it still won two more games than the Indians, who finished last for only the second time in their history.You can find additional headlines from the 1969 baseball season on the next page.
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